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A silicon electron pump for quantum metrology of the ampere


Electron pumps are devices delivering a quantized current when driven at a frequency f: I=Nef, where N is an integer and e the electron charge. Electron pumps capable of delivering a current higher than 100 pA (corresponding to f >600MHz) with sufficient accuracy are likely to become the direct mise en pratique of the possible new quantum definition of the ampere which will be based on fundamental constant e, which will be fixed.

Published on 9 October 2013
We realized a metal-semiconductor electron pump which combines the simplicity and efficiency of Coulomb blockade in metals with the unsurpassed performances of silicon CMOS switches. Robust and simple pumping at 650 MHz and 0.5 K has been achieved with a relative uncertainty better than 5x10-4. The 2-gate nanowire pumps are realized with the CEA-Leti on 300mm wafers. This pump is an ideal candidate for national measurement institutes to realize and share a future quantum ampere.

Chips of a 300mm substrate integrating electron pumps.
This work is made in collaboration with Leti/DCOS/LDI.

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