Faculty Type: 
Active Faculty
Title: 
Professor of Physics
Address: 
Geballe Laboratory for Advanced Materials
McCullough Building Rm. 346
476 Lomita Mall
Stanford, California 94305-4045
Phone Number: 
650-724-3709
Support Staff: 

How do electrons organize themselves on the nanoscale?


We know that electrons are charged particles, and hence repel each other; yet in common metals like copper billions of electrons have plenty of room to maneuver and seem to move independently, taking no notice of each other. Professor Goldhaber-Gordon studies how electrons behave when they are instead confined to tiny structures, such as wires only tens of atoms wide. When constrained this way, electrons cannot easily avoid each other, and interactions strongly affect their organization and flow. The Goldhaber-Gordon group uses advanced fabrication techniques to confine electrons to semiconductor nanostructures, to extend our understanding of quantum mechanics to interacting particles, and to provide the basic science that will shape possible designs for future transistors. The Goldhaber-Gordon group makes measurements using cryogenics, precision electrical measurements, and novel scanning probe techniques that allow direct spatial mapping of electron organization and flow. For some of their measurements of exotic quantum states, they cool electrons to twelve thousandths of a degree above absolute zero, the world record for electrons in semiconductor nanostructures.


Current areas of focus:

  • How does a simple quantum system interact with its environment? Why isn’t quantum mechanics manifest in everyday life?
  • Building model systems in semiconductor nanostructures: engineering “designer Hamiltonians” for comparison with exotic theoretical models
  • Measuring and manipulating electron spins
  • Quantum coherence and entanglement of wavefunctions
  • Novel low-dimensional electron systems at the surface of topological insulators, and supercurrents in these surface states
  • Accumulating huge carrier concentrations (up to 10^15/cm^2) at the surface of complex oxides and in other low-dimensional systems, using the emerging technique of electrolyte gating
     

Career History

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