Observation of discrete energy levels in a quantum confined system

L. L A Adams, B. W. Lang, A. M. Goldman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Low temperature scanning tunneling microscope images and spectroscopic data have been obtained on subnanometer size Pb clusters fabricated using the technique of buffer layer assisted growth. Discrete energy levels were resolved in current-voltage characteristics as current peaks rather than current steps. Distributions of peak voltage spacings and peak current heights were consistent with Wigner-Dyson and Porter-Thomas distributions, respectively, suggesting the relevance of random matrix theory to the description of the electronic eigenstates of the clusters. The observation of peaks rather than steps in the current-voltage characteristics is attributed to a resonant tunneling process involving the discrete energy levels of the cluster, the tip, and the states at the interface between the cluster and the substrate surface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number146804
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number14
StatePublished - Sep 30 2005


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