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Friday, 31 August, 2007

Counterflow of Electrons in Two Isolated Quantum Point Contacts

V. S. Khrapai, S. Ludwig, J. P. Kotthaus, H. P. Tranitz and W. Wegscheider -
Phys. Rev. Lett. 99, 096803 (2007)

We study the interaction between two adjacent but electrically isolated quantum point contacts (QPCs). At high enough source-drain bias on one QPC, the drive QPC, we detect a finite electric current in the second, unbiased, detector QPC. The current generated at the detector QPC always flows in the opposite direction than the current of the drive QPC. The generated current is maximal, if the detector QPC is tuned to a transition region between its quantized conductance plateaus and the drive QPC is almost pinched-off. We interpret this counterflow phenomenon in terms of an asymmetric phonon-induced excitation of electrons in the leads of the detector QPC.


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