Introduction to Single Charge Tunneling

  • M. H. Devoret
  • H. Grabert
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSB, volume 294)


Consider a charge transport experiment in which a voltage difference is applied to two electrodes (a “source” and a “drain”, see Fig. 1) separated by an insulating gap. In the middle of the gap lies a third metallic electrode, which we call an “island” since it is surrounded by an insulator. To travel from the source to the drain the electrons must go through the island. We assume that the conduction of electrons through the insulating gaps between the source and the island and between the island and the drain occurs by quantum tunneling. This process is so fast that we can consider that the electrons are traversing the insulating gaps one at a time. Nevertheless, the successive tunnel events across a particular junction are uncorrelated and constitute a Poisson process. The key point is that, during its journey from the source to the drain, the electron necessarily makes the charge of the island vary by e.


Gate Voltage Cooper Pair Tunnel Junction Tunnel Barrier Tunneling Rate 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. H. Devoret
    • 1
  • H. Grabert
    • 2
  1. 1.Groupe Quantronique, Service de Physique de l’Etat CondenséCentre d’Etudes de SaclayGif-sur-YvetteFrance
  2. 2.Fachbereich PhysikUniversität-GH EssenEssenGermany

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