Two-dimensional electron optics in GaAs

H. L. Stormer, J. Spector, J. S. Weiner, K. W. Baldwin, L. N. Pfeiffer, K. W. West

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Electron mobilities in modulation-doped GaAs-AlGaAs heterostructures presently exceed values of 107 cm2/Vsec at low temperatures, equivalent to elastic mean free paths of -100μm (Pfeiffer et al 1989). These are macroscopic distances on the length scale of today's semiconductor fabrication techniques. Electronic transport in such materials can no longer be regarded as diffusive. Instead, low-energy electron propagation is ballistic and a large fraction of the carriers traverse typical device distances without a serious scattering event. On one hand, such extraordinary electronic transport can seriously alter the low-temperature performance of traditional devices that are based on high mobility 2D electron systems. On the other hand, ballistic propagation offers novel possibilities to control and manipulate electrons in such systems. Research of the past few years shows that low-energy ballistic carriers in two-dimensional electron systems behave in many ways analogous to photons in classical geometrical optics. We demonstrate a 2D electron lens that focuses electrons from a point source onto a point detector by means of a photolithographically defined electrostatic lens of variable ″refractive index.″ High-mobility two-dimensional electron systems, combined with modern lithographic techniques, lend themselves at low temperatures to the implementation of a wide variety of control elements that closely resemble the devices portrayed in textbooks on geometrical optics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInstitute of Physics Conference Series
PublisherPubl by IOP Publishing Ltd
Number of pages1
ISBN (Print)0854984100
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of the 18th International Symposium on Gallium Arsenide and Related Compounds - Seattle, WA, USA
Duration: Sep 9 1991Sep 12 1991

Publication series

NameInstitute of Physics Conference Series
ISSN (Print)0951-3248


ConferenceProceedings of the 18th International Symposium on Gallium Arsenide and Related Compounds
CitySeattle, WA, USA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


Dive into the research topics of 'Two-dimensional electron optics in GaAs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this