Quantum electronics

New light on quantum tunnelling

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Recent research shows that quantum-mechanical tunnelling through individual semiconductor quantum dots can be promoted or inhibited using a low-intensity focused laser beam. This phenomenon may be useful for low-level light detection or quantum information applications.

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Figure 1: Schematic of the device studied by Makarovsky et al. a, A weak tunnelling current passes through a quantum dot embedded in the barrier region.
Figure 2: Photoresponse map and current–voltage characteristic of the device.

© 2012 APS

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Correspondence to Andrew J. Shields.

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Shields, A. New light on quantum tunnelling. Nature Photon 6, 348–349 (2012) doi:10.1038/nphoton.2012.122

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