Ruhr-University Bochum (RUB) researchers can access the interior of transistors by manipulating the electron gas within them via application of resonators to produce rhythmic oscillation in the terahertz range inside. "A 2-D electron gas is like jelly," says RUB professor Andreas Wieck. "If pressure is electrically applied to the gas from above with a characteristic frequency, thickness and density oscillations are generated." The approximately 10-nm-thick oscillations follow quantum mechanical laws, so all occurring oscillations have a specific frequency in the range of 1,012 Hertz. "Pressure to the electron gas must be applied in that rapid change," Wieck says.
The RUB researchers evaporated a series of identical metallic resonators that can oscillate with the required fixed frequency 100 nm above the gas, which was embedded in a semiconductor and could be thickened or thinned via external DC voltage. They refined the electron gas to the resonators with external voltage so the alternating electric pressure of the resonators excited it optimally to oscillate in the terahertz range.
The researchers suggest this technique could be of interest for sensors in chemical and environmental applications, as molecule oscillations typically happen in the terahertz range; these oscillations can be recorded with modified sensors, which can be developed to react to the frequencies of certain gases or liquids.
From Ruhr-University Bochum
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