We review recent precision measurements on semiconductor tunable-barrier electron pumps operating in a ratchet mode. Seven studies on five different designs of pumps have reported measurements of the pump current with relative total uncertainties around 10-6 or less. Combined with theoretical models of electron capture by the pumps, these experimental data exhibits encouraging evidence that the pumps operate according to a universal mechanism, independent of the details of device design. Evidence for robustness of the pump current against changes in the control parameters is at a more preliminary stage, but also encouraging, with two studies reporting robustness of the pump current against three or more parameters in the range of ∼5 × 10-7 to ∼2 × 10-6. This review highlights the need for an agreed protocol for tuning the electron pump for optimal operation, as well as more rigorous evaluations of the robustness in a wide range of pump designs.
|Number of pages||17|
|Early online date||13 Jun 2019|
|Publication status||Published - 2 Jul 2019|
- current measurement
- current standards
- electron pumps
- primary electrical metrology