Juggling electrons in artificial potentials

Jörg P. Kotthaus,
Sektion Physik and Center for NanoScience Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

Carriers confined in a two-dimensional systems can be further restricted in their motion and interaction by artificial potentials electrostatically superimposed via suitable lateral patterning. As demonstrated with two recently realized devices new modes of carrier motion and storage are still being discovered in such mesoscopic and voltage-tunable potential landscapes. Ballistic motion of electrons in quasi-one-dimensional channels with broken symmetry gives rise to a new and very sensitive mechanism of rectification of ac voltages. Reversible spatial separation of optically generated electron-hole pairs enables transient storage and manipulation of optical images thus representing an optically emitting CCD-like camera.