Electrons in Two Dimensions: Quantum Corrals and Semiconductor Microstructures
04 Dec 2007 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Eric J. Heller
The images generated by a scanning tunneling microscope are iconic. Some of the most famous are Don Eigler’s quantum corrals, which reveal not only the guest atoms on a surface but especially the interference patterns of electrons shuttling back and forth along the surface. To understand the images, we first discuss the middle name in STM - tunneling. But the real story behind Eigler’s images is a profound confirmation of
quantum interference and the wave nature of matter. We will discuss the special surface dwelling electrons and the scattering
of them off atoms and defects on the surface, making analogies with sound wave scattering. We will listen to atoms being moved one at a time, and come to understand the new physics they reveal.