Evidence for universality of tunable-barrier electron pumps

Giblin, Stephen P. and Fujiwara, Akira and Yamahata, Gento and Bae, Myung-Ho and Kim, Nam and Rossi, Alessandro and Möttönen, Mikko and Kataoka, Masaya (2019) Evidence for universality of tunable-barrier electron pumps. Metrologia, 56 (4). 044004. ISSN 1681-7575

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    Abstract

    We review recent precision measurements on semiconductor tunable-barrier electron pumps operating in a ratchet mode. Seven studies on five different designs of pumps have reported measurements of the pump current with relative total uncertainties around 10-6 or less. Combined with theoretical models of electron capture by the pumps, these experimental data exhibits encouraging evidence that the pumps operate according to a universal mechanism, independent of the details of device design. Evidence for robustness of the pump current against changes in the control parameters is at a more preliminary stage, but also encouraging, with two studies reporting robustness of the pump current against three or more parameters in the range of ∼5 × 10-7 to ∼2 × 10-6. This review highlights the need for an agreed protocol for tuning the electron pump for optimal operation, as well as more rigorous evaluations of the robustness in a wide range of pump designs.