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Theory and simulation of scanning gate microscopy : applied to the investigation of transport in quantum point contacts

Abstract : This work is concerned with the theoretical description of the Scanning Gate Microscopy (SGM) in general and with solving particular models of the quantum point contact (QPC) nanostructure, analytically and numerically. SGM is an experimental technique, which measures the conductance of a nanostructure, while a charged AFM tip is scanned above its surface. It gives many interesting results, such as lobed and branched images, interference fringes and a chequerboard pattern. A generally applicable theory, allowing for unambiguous interpretation of the results, is still missing. Using the Lippman-Schwinger scattering theory, we have developed a perturbative description of non-invasive SGM signal. First and second order expressions are given, pertaining to the ramp- and plateau-regions of the conductance curve. The maps of time-reversal invariant (TRI) systems, tuned to the lowest conductance plateau, are related to the Fermi-energy charge density. In a TRI system with a four-fold spatial symmetry and very wide leads, the map is also related to the current density, on any plateau. We present and discuss the maps calculated for two analytically solvable models of the QPC and maps obtained numerically, with Recursive Green Function method, pointing to the experimental features they reproduce and to the fundamental difficulties in obtaining good plateau tuning which they reveal.
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  • HAL Id : tel-00876522, version 2

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Wojciech Szewc. Theory and simulation of scanning gate microscopy : applied to the investigation of transport in quantum point contacts. Quantum Physics [quant-ph]. Université de Strasbourg, 2013. English. ⟨NNT : 2013STRAE025⟩. ⟨tel-00876522v2⟩

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