Nov 30, 2017 4:00 pm - Nielsen Hall 170 - Colloquium
Jonathan Bird - SUNY - Buffalo
Driving Electrons Hard ... Nanoscale Devices Under Strong Nonequilibrium

The development of sophisticated techniques for the fabrication of nanoscale semiconductor devices has opened up the possibility of exploring a new and exciting world of "high-energy physics on a tabletop". With a voltage of just 1 volt applied across the 100-nm long channel of a semiconductor device, for example, the resulting electric field strength reaches 10 MV/m, close to the breakdown field in the semiconductor. In recent years we have been exploring the novel physics that can emerge when semiconductor nanodevices are operated close to this limit, allowing us to observe new transport phenomena not normally associated with systems nearer to equilibrium. In order to perform these experiments we are forced to implement new experimental approaches, including schemes in which we "watch" the nonequilibrium dynamics of hot electrons over time through an approach of rapid (nanosecond-duration) electrical pulsing. Our experiments are performed on a variety of different nanostructured systems, fabricated in both conventional semiconductor systems, and in atomically-flat semiconductors such as graphene. I will review our recent studies of these systems in my presentation.