Counting Individual Trapped Electrons on Liquid Helium

Papageorgiou, G.; Glasson, P.; Harrabi, K.; Antonov, V.; Collin, E.; Fozooni, P.; Frayne, P. G.; Lea, M. J.; Rees, D. G.; Mukharsky, Y.
April 2005
Applied Physics Letters;4/11/2005, Vol. 86 Issue 15, p153106
Academic Journal
We show that small numbers of electrons, including a single isolated electron, can be held in an electrostatic trap above the surface of superfluid helium. A potential well is created using microfabricated electrodes in a 5 μm diameter pool of helium. Electrons are injected into the trap from an electron reservoir on a helium microchannel. They are individually detected using a superconducting single-electron transistor as an electrometer. A Coulomb staircase is observed as electrons leave the trap one–by–one until the trap is empty. A design for a scalable quantum information processor using an array of electron traps is presented.


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