Quantum Dynamics of Submicron Structures
Techniques for the preparation of condensed matter systems have advanced considerably in the last decade, principally due to the developments in microfabrication technologies. The widespread availability of millikelvin temperature facilities also led to the discovery of a large number of new quantum phenomena. Simultaneously, the quantum theory of small condensed matter systems has matured, allowing quantitative predictions.
The effects discussed in Quantum Dynamics of Submicron Structures include typical quantum interference phenomena, such as the Aharonov-Bohm-like oscillations of the magnetoresistance of thin metallic cylinders and rings, transport through chaotic billiards, and such quantization effects as the integer and fractional quantum Hall effect and the quantization of the conductance of point contacts in integer multiples of the `conductance quantum'. Transport properties and tunnelling processes in various types of normal metal and superconductor tunnelling systems are treated. The statistical properties of the quantum states of electrons in spatially inhomogeneous systems, such as a random, inhomogeneous magnetic field, are investigated. Interacting systems, like the Luttinger liquid or electrons in a quantum dot, are also considered.
Reviews are given of quantum blockade mechanisms for electrons that tunnel through small junctions, like the Coulomb blockade and spin blockade, the influence of dissipative coupling of charge carriers to an environment, and Andreev scattering. Coulomb interactions and quantization effects in transport through quantum dots and in double-well potentials, as well as quantum effects in the motion of vortices, as in the Aharonov-Casher effect, are discussed.
The status of the theory of the metal-insulator and superconductor-insulator phase transitions in ordered and disordered granular systems are reviewed as examples in which such quantum effects are of great importance.