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# Handout 3

## In this lecture you will learn:

Free electron gas in two dimensions and in one dimension
Density of States in k-space and in energy in lower dimensions

## ECE 407 Spring 2009 Farhan Rana Cornell University

Electron Gases in 2D
In several physical systems electron are confined to move in just 2
dimensions

STM
micrograph

## Examples, discussed in detail later in the course, are shown below:

Semiconductor Quantum Wells:

GaAs

Graphene:

InGaAs
quantum well
(1-10 nm)

GaAs
Semiconductor quantum
wells can be composed of
pretty much any
semiconductor from the
groups II, III, IV, V, and VI of
the periodic table

TEM
micrograph

## Graphene is a single atomic layer

of carbon atoms arranged in a
honeycomb lattice

## ECE 407 Spring 2009 Farhan Rana Cornell University

Electron Gases in 1D
In several physical systems electron are confined to move in just 1 dimension
Examples, discussed in detail later in the course, are shown below:

Semiconductor Quantum
Wires (or Nanowires):

Semiconductor Quantum
Point Contacts
(Electrostatic Gating):

GaAs

metal

Carbon Nanotubes
(Rolled Graphene
Sheets):

metal

InGaAs
Quantum well

InGaAs
Nanowire

GaAs

GaAs

## Electrons in 2D Metals: The Free Electron Model

The quantum state of an electron is described by the time-independent
Schrodinger equation:

2 2
r V r r E r
2m

## Consider a large metal sheet of area A= Lx Ly :

Use the Sommerfeld model:
The electrons inside the sheet are confined in a
two-dimensional infinite potential well with zero
potential inside the sheet and infinite potential
outside the sheet

V r 0

V r

A Lx Ly

Ly

Lx

## The electron states inside the sheet are given

by the Schrodinger equation

free electrons
(experience no
potential when inside
the sheet)

Solve:

2 2
r E r
2m

Solution is:

## These imply that each

edge of the sheet is
folded and joined to
the opposite edge

x Lx , y , z x , y , z
x , y Ly , z x , y , z

1 i k . r
e

A Lx Ly
x

Ly
Lx

1 i k x x k y y
e
A

The boundary conditions dictate that the allowed values of kx , and ky are such
that:

e i k x Lx 1
e

i k y Ly

kx n

2
Lx

n = 0, 1, 2, 3,.

ky m

2
Ly

m = 0, 1, 2, 3,.

## Born Von Karman Periodic Boundary Conditions in 2D

Labeling Scheme:
All electron states and energies can be labeled by the corresponding k-vector

k r

1 i k . r
e
A

2k 2
Ek
2m

Orthogonality:

2
2
d r k r 1

## Wavefunctions of two different states are orthogonal:

2

d r

i k k ' . r
r k r d 2r e
k ' , k
A

k* '

Momentum Eigenstates:
Another advantage of using the plane-wave energy eigenstates (as opposed to the
sine energy eigenstates) is that the plane-wave states are also momentum
eigenstates

Momentum operator: p
p r r k r

Velocity:
Velocity of eigenstates is:

k 1
vk
k E k
m

## ECE 407 Spring 2009 Farhan Rana Cornell University

States in 2D k-Space

2
Lx

ky

k-space Visualization:
The allowed quantum states states can be
visualized as a 2D grid of points in the entire
k-space

kx n

2
Lx

ky m

2
Ly

kx

2
Ly

n, m = 0, 1, 2, 3, .
Density of Grid Points in k-space:

Looking at the figure, in k-space there is only one grid point in every small
area of size:

Lx
There are

2 2

Ly

2 2

Very important
result

## The Electron Gas in 2D at Zero Temperature - I

Suppose we have N electrons in the sheet.
Then how do we start filling the allowed quantum states?

N
y

## Suppose T~0K and we are interested in a filling scheme

that gives the lowest total energy.
The energy of a quantum state is:

2 k x2 k y2
2k 2

Ek
2m
2m

A Lx Ly
x

Ly
Lx

ky

Strategy:
Each grid-point can be occupied by two electrons
(spin up and spin down)
Start filling up the grid-points (with two electrons
each) in circular regions of increasing radii until
you have a total of N electrons

kx
kF

## When we are done, all filled (i.e. occupied)

quantum states correspond to grid-points that are
inside a circular region of radius kF
ECE 407 Spring 2009 Farhan Rana Cornell University

ky

## Each grid-point can be occupied by two electrons (spin

up and spin down)

kF

## All filled quantum states correspond to grid-points that

are inside a circular region of radius kF
Area of the circular region =

kx

kF2
A

## Number of grid-points in the circular region =

Number of quantum states (including
spin) in the circular region =

Fermi circle

kF2

kF2

A 2
kF
2

But the above must equal the total number N of electrons inside the box:

A 2
kF
2

n electron density

kF 2 n 2

N kF2

A 2

## Units of the electron

density n are #/cm2

## The Electron Gas in 2D at Zero Temperature - III

ky

All quantum states inside the Fermi circle are filled (i.e.
occupied by electrons)
All quantum states outside the Fermi circle are empty

kF

Fermi Momentum:
The largest momentum of the electrons is: kF
This is called the Fermi momentum
Fermi momentum can be found if one knows the electron
1
density:

kx
Fermi circle

kF 2 n 2

Fermi Energy:
2kF2
The largest energy of the electrons is:
This is called the Fermi energy EF :

Also:

EF

2 n
m

2m 2 2
kF
EF
2m
or

EF

Fermi Velocity:
kF
The largest velocity of the electrons is called the Fermi velocity vF : v F

ky
A

## Recall that there are

space

2 2

So in area dk x dk y
grid points is:

dk x
dk y

kx

## of k-space the number of

dk x dk y

d 2k

The summation over all grid points in k-space can be replaced by an area integral

all k

Therefore:

d 2k

2 2

d 2k
N 2 f k 2 A
f k
2
2
all k

## f k is the occupation probability of a quantum state

ECE 407 Spring 2009 Farhan Rana Cornell University

## The probability f k that the quantum state of wavevector k is occupied by an

electron is given by the Fermi-Dirac distribution function:

f k

E k Ef K T

1 e

Therefore:

N 2 A

d 2k

2 2

Where:

2 k x2 k y2
2k 2
Ek

2m
2m

d 2k
1

f k 2 A
2

E
k
2 1 e Ef KT

Density of States:
The k-space integral is cumbersome. We need to convert into a simpler form an
energy space integral using the following steps:

d 2k 2 k dk

and

2k 2
2k
dk
dE
m
2m

Therefore:

2 A

d 2k

dk

dE

N 2 A

Where:

d 2k

2 1 e E k Ef KT

g2D E

A dE g2D E
0

E E f KT
1 e

## Density of states function is constant

(independent of energy) in 2D

ky

## The product g(E) dE represents the number of

quantum states available in the energy interval
between E and (E+dE) per cm2 of the metal
Suppose E corresponds to the inner circle
from the relation:

kx

2k 2
2m

## And suppose (E+dE) corresponds to the outer

circle, then g2D(E) dE corresponds to twice the
number of the grid points between the two
circles
ECE 407 Spring 2009 Farhan Rana Cornell University

## The Electron Gas in 2D at Non-Zero Temperature - IV

N A dE g2D E
0

1
A dE g2D E f E Ef

E E f KT
1 e

Where: g2D E

f E Ef

## The expression for N can be visualized as the

integration over the product of the two functions:
Check: Suppose T=0K:

Ef
Ef

f E Ef

T = 0K

Ef

EF

## Compare with the previous result at T=0K:

N A dE g2D E f E Ef A dE g2D E

1
0

g2D E

Ef

Ef

## At T=0K (and only at T=0K) the Fermi level

Ef is the same as the Fermi energy EF

## The Electron Gas in 2D at Non-Zero Temperature - V

For T 0K:
Since the carrier density is known, and does not change with temperature, the
Fermi level at temperature T is found from the expression

n dE g2D E
0

1 e E E f KT

Ef

1 e K T
K
T
log

## In general, the Fermi level Ef is a function of temperature and decreases from EF as

the temperature increases. The exact relationship can be found by inverting the
above equation and recalling that:

EF

to get:

EF
Ef T KT loge KT 1

## Total Energy of the 2D Electron Gas

The total energy U of the electron gas can be written as:

d 2k
U 2 f k E k 2 A
f k Ek
2

all k

0

## The energy density u is:

u

U
dE g2D E f E Ef E
A 0

Suppose T=0K:
EF

2 2

u dE g2D E E

Since:

We have: u

EF2

EF

1
n EF
2

ky

f k

e
k t k
E

e
E

ky

E E x x

kx

kx

## Electron distribution in k-space

when E-field is zero

## Electron distribution is shifted in

k-space when E-field is not zero

Distribution function: f k

Distribution function: f k

e
E

Since the wavevector of each electron is shifted by the same amount in the
presence of the E-field, the net effect in k-space is that the entire electron
distribution is shifted as shown

Ly
Lx
ECE 407 Spring 2009 Farhan Rana Cornell University

d 2k e
J 2 e
f k
Ev k

2 2

e
E

ky

d k
2

e
f k v k

2
e

k
d 2k
J 2 e
f k
m
2 2

e 2

d 2k
J
f k E
2
2
m
2

2
ne

J
E E
m

J 2 e

kx

## Electron distribution is shifted in

k-space when E-field is not zero

Distribution function: f k

e
E

Where:

n e 2
m

## Same as the Drude result - but

units are different. Units of are
Siemens in 2D
ECE 407 Spring 2009 Farhan Rana Cornell University

## Electrons in 1D Metals: The Free Electron Model

The quantum state of an electron is described by the time-independent
Schrodinger equation:

2 2
x V x x E x
2 m x 2

## Consider a large metal wire of length L :

Use the Sommerfeld model:
The electrons inside the wire are confined in a
one-dimensional infinite potential well with zero
potential inside the wire and infinite potential
outside the wire

V x 0
V x

## for x inside the wire

for x outside the wire
free electrons
(experience no
potential when inside
the wire)

## The electron states inside the wire are given by

the Schrodinger equation
ECE 407 Spring 2009 Farhan Rana Cornell University

Solve:

2 2
x E x
2 m x 2

## Use periodic boundary conditions:

x L, y , z x , y , z

Solution is:

L
These imply that each
facet of the sheet is
folded and joined to
the opposite facet

1 i k x x
e
L

The boundary conditions dictate that the allowed values of kx are such that:

e i k x L 1

kx n

2
L

n = 0, 1, 2, 3,.

## ECE 407 Spring 2009 Farhan Rana Cornell University

10

States in 1D k-Space
k-space Visualization:
The allowed quantum states states can be
visualized as a 1D grid of points in the entire
k-space

kx n

2
L

2
L

kx

n = 0, 1, 2, 3, .
Density of Grid Points in k-space:
Looking at the figure, in k-space there is only one grid point in every small
length of size:

L
There are

L
2

Very important
result

## The Electron Gas in 1D at Zero Temperature - I

Each grid-point can be occupied by two electrons (spin
up and spin down)
All filled quantum states correspond to grid-points that
are within a distance kF from the origin
Length of the region = 2kF
Number of grid-points in the region =

kF

kF
kx

Fermi points

L
2k F
2

## Number of quantum states (including

L
2
2k F
spin) in the region =

But the above must equal the total number N of electrons in the wire:

NL

2k F

n electron density

kF

N 2k F

## Units of the electron

density n are #/cm

2
ECE 407 Spring 2009 Farhan Rana Cornell University

11

## The Electron Gas in 1D at Zero Temperature - II

All quantum states between the Fermi points are filled (i.e.
occupied by electrons)
All quantum states outside the Fermi points are empty
Fermi Momentum:
The largest momentum of the electrons is: kF
This is called the Fermi momentum
Fermi momentum can be found if one knows the electron
density:

kF

kx

Fermi points

n
2

Fermi Energy:
2kF2
The largest energy of the electrons is:

2m 2 2
kF
EF
2m

## This is called the Fermi energy EF :

EF

Also:

2 2 n2
8m

or

8m

EF

Fermi Velocity:
kF
The largest velocity of the electrons is called the Fermi velocity vF : v F

## The Electron Gas in 1D at Non-Zero Temperature - I

Recall that there are L
2
space

dk x

## So in length dk x of k-space the number of

grid points is:

kx

L
dk x
2
The summation over all grid points in k-space can be replaced by an integral

all k

dk x
2

Therefore:

dk x
f k x
2

N 2 f k x 2 L
all k

## f k x is the occupation probability of a quantum state

ECE 407 Spring 2009 Farhan Rana Cornell University

12

## The Electron Gas in 1D at Non-Zero Temperature - II

The probability f k x that the quantum state of wavevector k x is occupied by an
electron is given by the Fermi-Dirac distribution function:

f k x

1
1 e E k x Ef K T

Therefore:

2k x2
Ek
2m

Where:

dk
dk x
1
x
f k x 2 L

E k x E f KT

2
2
1 e

N 2L
Density of States:

## The k-space integral is cumbersome. We need to convert into a simpler form an

energy space integral using the following steps:

dk
dk x
2L2
2
0 2

and

2L

2k 2
2k
dE
dk
2m
m

Therefore:

dk x
2

2L

L dE
0

2m 1
E

dk x
1
1
L dE g1D E

E
k

E
KT
x
f
1 e E E f KT
2 1 e
0

N 2L
Where:

g1D E

2m 1
E

## g1D(E) has units: # / Joule-cm

The product g(E) dE represents the number of
quantum states available in the energy interval
between E and (E+dE) per cm of the metal
Suppose E corresponds to the inner points
from the relation:
2 2

k
2m

kx

## And suppose (E+dE) corresponds to the outer

points, then g1D(E) dE corresponds to twice the
number of the grid points between the points
ECE 407 Spring 2009 Farhan Rana Cornell University

13

## The Electron Gas in 1D at Non-Zero Temperature - IV

N L dE g1D E
0

1
L dE g1D E f E Ef

E E f KT
1 e

g1D E

2m 1
Where: g1D E
E

f E Ef

## The expression for N can be visualized as the

integration over the product of the two functions:
Check: Suppose T=0K:

Ef

N L dE g1D E f E Ef L dE g1D E

f E Ef
1

8m
L
Ef

T = 0K

Ef

Ef

8m

Ef

8m

EF

## At T=0K (and only at T=0K) the Fermi level

Ef is the same as the Fermi energy EF

## The Electron Gas in 1D at Non-Zero Temperature - V

For T 0K:
Since the carrier density is known, and does not change with temperature, the
Fermi level at temperature T is found from the expression

n dE g1D E
0

E E f KT
1 e

## In general, the Fermi level Ef is a function of temperature and decreases from EF as

the temperature increases.

14

## Total Energy of the 1D Electron Gas

The total energy U of the electron gas can be written as:

dk x
f k x E k x
2

U 2 f k x E k x 2 L
all k

## Convert the k-space integral to energy integral: U L dE g1D E f E Ef E

0

U
dE g1D E f E Ef E
L 0

Suppose T=0K:
EF

u dE g1D E E
0

8m

Since: n

We have:

32
8m E F
3

EF

1
n EF
3

f k x

k x t k x

e
Ex

e
E

E E x x

kx

kx

## Electron distribution in k-space

when E-field is zero
Distribution function: f k x

## Electron distribution is shifted in

k-space when E-field is not zero

Distribution function: f k x
Ex

Since the wavevector of each electron is shifted by the same amount in the
presence of the E-field, the net effect in k-space is that the entire electron
distribution is shifted as shown

L
ECE 407 Spring 2009 Farhan Rana Cornell University

15

## 1D Electron Gas in an Applied Electric Field - II

Current (units: A)

dk x
e

I 2 e
f kx
E x v k x

e
Ex

E E x x

kx

dk x
e

f k x v k x
Ex

2
e

k x
Ex
dk

x f k
I 2 e
x
m
2

I 2 e

dk
e 2
x f k E
2
x x

m
2

ne
I
E E
m

## Electron distribution is shifted in

k-space when E-field is not zero

Distribution function: f k x
Ex

Where:

n e 2
m

## Same as the Drude result - but

units are different. Units of are
Siemens-cm in 1D
ECE 407 Spring 2009 Farhan Rana Cornell University

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