Fabry - Perot interference in a nanotube electron waveguide.


PubMedID: 11395762

Liang W, Bockrath M, Bozovic D, Hafner JH, Tinkham M, Park H. Fabry - Perot interference in a nanotube electron waveguide. Nature. 2001;411(6838):665-9.
The behaviour of traditional electronic devices can be understood in terms of the classical diffusive motion of electrons. As the size of a device becomes comparable to the electron coherence length, however, quantum interference between electron waves becomes increasingly important, leading to dramatic changes in device properties. This classical-to-quantum transition in device behaviour suggests the possibility for nanometer-sized electronic elements that make use of quantum coherence. Molecular electronic devices are promising candidates for realizing such device elements because the electronic motion in molecules is inherently quantum mechanical and it can be modified by well defined chemistry. Here we describe an example of a coherent molecular electronic device whose behaviour is explicitly dependent on quantum interference between propagating electron waves-a Fabry-Perot electron resonator based on individual single-walled carbon nanotubes with near-perfect ohmic contacts to electrodes. In these devices, the nanotubes act as coherent electron waveguides, with the resonant cavity formed between the two nanotube-electrode interfaces. We use a theoretical model based on the multichannel Landauer-B├╝ttiker formalism to analyse the device characteristics and find that coupling between the two propagating modes of the nanotubes caused by electron scattering at the nanotube-electrode interfaces is important.