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Scanned Single-Electron Probe inside a Silicon Electronic Device

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journal contribution
posted on 15.06.2020 by Kevin S. H. Ng, Benoit Voisin, Brett C. Johnson, Jeffrey C. McCallum, Joe Salfi, Sven Rogge
Solid-state devices can be fabricated at the atomic scale, with applications ranging from classical logic to current standards and quantum technologies. Although it is very desirable to probe these devices and the quantum states they host at the atomic scale, typical methods rely on long-ranged capacitive interactions, making this difficult. Here, we probe a silicon electronic device at the atomic scale using a localized electronic quantum dot induced directly within the device at a desired location, using the biased tip of a low-temperature scanning tunneling microscope. We demonstrate control over short-ranged tunnel coupling interactions of the quantum dot with the device’s source reservoir using sub-nanometer position control of the tip and the quantum dot energy level using a voltage applied to the device’s gate reservoir. Despite the ∼1 nm proximity of the quantum dot to the metallic tip, we find that the gate provides sufficient capacitance to enable a high degree of electric control. Combined with atomic-scale imaging, we use the quantum dot to probe applied electric fields and charge in individual defects in the device. This capability is expected to aid in the understanding of atomic-scale devices and the quantum states realized in them.