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Keywords:

  • mesoscopic physics;
  • electron quantum optics;
  • single electron source;
  • quantum Hall effect;
  • edge channels;
  • current correlations

Abstract

The edge channels of the quantum Hall effect provide one dimensional chiral and ballistic wires along which electrons can be guided in an optics-like setup. Electronic propagation can then be analyzed using concepts and tools derived from optics. After a brief review of electron optics experiments performed using stationary current sources which continuously emit electrons in the conductor, this paper focuses on triggered sources, which can generate on-demand a single particle state. It first outlines the electron optics formalism and its analogies and differences with photon optics and then turns to the presentation of single electron emitters and their characterization through the measurements of the average electrical current and its correlations. This is followed by a discussion of electron quantum optics experiments in the Hanbury-Brown and Twiss geometry where two-particle interferences occur. Finally, Coulomb interactions effects and their influence on single electron states are considered.