Colloquium: Theory of quantum corrals and quantum mirages


Fiete, G.A. & Heller, E.J. Colloquium: Theory of quantum corrals and quantum mirages. Reviews of Modern Physics 75, 933 (2003).


Quantum corrals are two-dimensional structures built atom by atom on an atomically clean metallic surface using a scanning tunneling microscope (STM). These two-dimensional structures “corral” electrons in the surface states of noble metals, leading to standing-wave patterns in the electron density inside the quantum corral. The authors review the physics of quantum corrals and relate the signal of the STM to the scattering properties of substrate electrons from atomic impurities supported on the surface. The theory includes the effects of incoherent surface-state electron scattering at the impurities and quantitively describes nearly all of the current STM data on quantum corrals, including the recent quantum mirage experiments with Kondo effect. The physics underlying the recent mirage experiments is discussed, as are some of the outstanding questions regarding the Kondo effect from impurities in nanoscale structures on metallic surfaces. The authors also summarize recent work on variations of “quantum” corrals: Optical corrals and acoustical corrals.

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Last updated on 10/07/2016