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The magnetic focusing of electrons has proven its utility in fundamental studies of electron transport. Here we report the direct imaging of magnetic focusing of electron waves, specifically in a two-dimensional electron gas (2DEG). We see the semicircular trajectories of electrons as they bounce along a boundary in the 2DEG, as well as fringes showing the coherent nature of the electron waves. Imaging flow in open systems is made possible by a cooled scanning probe microscope. Remarkable agreement between experiment and theory demonstrates our ability to see these trajectories and to use this system as an interferometer. We image branched electron flow as well as the interference of electron waves. This technique can visualize the motion of electron waves between two points in an open system, providing a straightforward way to study...
A novel formal equivalence between thermal averages of coherent properties (e.g. conductance), and time averages of a single wavepacket arises for Fermi gasses and certain geometries. In the case of one open channel in a quantum point contact (QPC), only one wavepacket history, with wavepacket width equal to thermal length, completely determines thermally averaged conductance. The formal equivalence moreover allows very simple physical interpretations of interference features surviving under thermal averaging. Simply put, pieces of thermal wavepacket returning to the QPC along independent paths must arrive at the same time in order to interfere. Remarkably, one immediate result of this approach is that higher temperature leads to narrower wavepackets and therefore better resolution of events in the time domain. In effect, experiments...
Comment: 16 pages, 4 figures, to appear in Phys. Rev. Lett. Movies associated with this paper at http://www.mb.tn.tudelft.nl/user/brian/interferometer.html
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