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Mesoscopic Quantum Noise: from few electron statistics to shot noise based photon detection (MEQUANO)
Start date: 01 Feb 2009, End date: 31 Jan 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

We propose innovative approaches to electronic quantum noise going from very fundamental topics addressing the quantum statistics of few electrons transferred through conductors to direct applications with the realization of new types of versatile broadband photon detectors based on photon-assisted shot noise. We will develop electron counting tools which will not only allow to full characterization of electron statistics but also open the way to new quantum interference experiments involving few electrons or fractional charge carriers and will question our understanding of quantum statistics. Generation of few electron bunches will be obtained by the yet never done technique of short voltage pulses whose duration is limited to few action quanta, one quantum for one electron. Detection of electron bunches will be done by an unprecedented technique of cut and probe where carriers are suddenly isolated in the circuit for further sensitive charge detection. Using highly ballistic electron nanostructures such as Graphene, III-V semiconductors with light carriers, Carbone Nanotubes or simply tunnel barriers, we will bring mesoscopic quantum noise effects to higher temperature, energy and frequency range, and thus closer to applications. Inspired by late R. Landauer s saying: the noise IS the signal we will develop totally new detectors based on the universal effect of photon-assisted electron shot noise. These versatile broadband detectors will be used either for on-chip noise detection or for photon radiation detection, possibly including imaging. They will operate above liquid Helium temperature and at THz frequencies although projected operation includes room temperature and far-infrared range as no fundamental limitation is expected. The complete program, balanced between very fundamental quantum issues and applications of quantum effects, will open routes for new quantum investigations and offer to a broad community new applications of mesoscopic effects.
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