Charge Fractionalization in Non-Chiral Luttinger Systems

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Charge Fractionalization in Non-Chiral Luttinger Systems

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Title: Charge Fractionalization in Non-Chiral Luttinger Systems
Author: Yacoby, Amir; Halperin, Bertrand; Le Hur, Karyn

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Citation: Le Hur, Karyn, Bertrand I. Halperin, and Amir Yacoby. 2008. Charge fractionalization in non-chiral Luttinger liquid systems. Annals of Physics 323(12): 3037-3058.
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Abstract: One-dimensional metals, such as quantum wires or carbon nanotubes, can carry charge in arbitrary units, smaller or larger than a single electron charge. However, according to Luttinger theory, which describes the low-energy excitations of such systems, when a single electron is injected by tunneling into the middle of such a wire, it will tend to break up into separate charge pulses, moving in opposite directions, which carry definite fractions f and (1-f) of the electron charge, determined by a parameter g that measures the strength of charge interactions in the wire. (The injected electron will also produce a spin excitation, which will travel at a different velocity than the charge excitations.) Observing charge fractionalization physics in an experiment is a challenge in those (nonchiral) low-dimensional systems which are adiabatically coupled to Fermi liquid leads. We theoretically discuss a first important step towards the observation of charge fractionalization in quantum wires based on momentum-resolved tunneling and multi-terminal geometries, and explain the recent experimental results of Steinberg et al. [H. Steinberg, G. Barak, A. Yacoby, L.N. Pfeiffer, K.W. West, B.I. Halperin, K. Le Hur, Nature Physics 4 (2008) 116].
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