Tunneling in Semiconductor Nanostructures: Physics and Devices
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Since modern semiconductor epitaxy techniques have reached the present level of perfectness, resonant tunneling through double barrier structures has attracted new interest, also with respect to novel device applications. The present review shortly discusses the underlying physical concepts of resonant tunneling through semiconductor multiple heterostructures. Beside resonant tunneling diodes also concepts for tunneling transistors are discussed. In particular, a novel 2D-2D tunnel transistor is presented, in which tunneling between two neighboring two-dimensional electron gases yields current-voltage characteristics with two types of instabilities depending on the applied gate voltage. Scaling down the lateral dimensions of a resonant tunneling diode leads to quantum boxes or dots, in which the effect of single electron tunneling with Coulomb-blockade can be observed. The underlying physics is discussed on the basis of recent experiments and theoretical calculations. Finally some possible future applications both of resonant tunneling diodes and of single electron devices are presented.
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