Determining the quantum-coherent to semiclassical transition in atomic-scale quasi-one-dimensional metals

Bent Weber, Michelle Y. Simmons

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Atomic-scale silicon wires, patterned by scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and degenerately doped with phosphorus (P), have attracted significant interest owing to their exceptionally low resistivity and semiclassical Ohmic conduction at temperatures as low as T=4.2K. Here, we investigate the transition from semiclassical diffusive to quantum-coherent conduction in a 4.6 nm wide wire as we decrease the measurement temperature. By analyzing the temperature dependence of universal conductance fluctuations (UCFs) and one-dimensional (1D) weak localization (WL) - fundamental manifestations of quantum-coherent transport in quasi-1D metals - we show that transport evolves from quantum coherent to semiclassical at T∼4K. Remarkably, our study confirms that universal concepts of mesoscopic physics such as UCF and 1D WL retain their validity in quasi-1D metallic conductors down to the atomic scale.

Original languageEnglish
Article number081412
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 29 Aug 2016

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