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Direct imaging of electrical fields using a scanning single electron transistor

Abstract : In this doctoral work, we have developed a new scanning single electron transistor (SET) microscope that works at very low temperatures (T = 50 mK) and high magnetic fields (B = 18 T). A SET consists of a small metallic island connected to source and drain electrodes through two tunnel junctions. In the Coulomb blockade regime at low temperature regime (T 5 K), an external electric field tunes the current circulating through the SET. In addition,small electric field variations lead to large SET current changes that makes the device a highly sensitive charge detector, able to detect charges smaller than 0.01 e. Thus, when the SET scans above a surface, it maps the electrostatic properties of the sample. However, the implementation of a scanning SET microscope is extremely challenging since it combines scanning probe microscopy, low temperatures and sensitive nanoscopic devices. For thisreason, only a few groups have succeeded its realization. Our technological choices to build the microscope improve certain aspects with respect to the already existing instruments. The breakthrough is that we fabricate the SET probe using standard lithographic techniques on commercial silicon wafers.For that reason, batch fabrication of SET probes is possible. Furthermore, by a combination of dicing and etching techniques, the SET is engineered extremely close to the edge of the Si chip (< 1 micrometer). In this way, the SET can be approached to a few nanometer from the sample surface by means of a atomic force distance control. Additionally, an on-probe gate electrode fabricated close to the island can be used to tune the operating point of the SET. Anovelty of our instrument is that with this on-probe gate and a feedback loop we have been able to map directly the local electric field. We demonstrate this new feedback scanning method by imaging an interdigitated array of nanometer scale electrodes. Moreover, the SET is an ideal tool for the study of the localization of electronic states. In the future, our scanning SET will be used for the study of two-dimensional electron systems in the quantum Hall regime, topological insulators and the metal insulator transition.
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Submitted on : Monday, October 21, 2019 - 10:05:15 AM
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  • HAL Id : tel-02321321, version 1

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STAR | CNRS | NEEL | UGA

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Jorge P. Nacenta Mendivil. Direct imaging of electrical fields using a scanning single electron transistor. Instrumentation and Detectors [physics.ins-det]. Université Grenoble Alpes, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019GREAY009⟩. ⟨tel-02321321⟩

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