Multiple periodicity in a nanoparticle-based single-electron transistor

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A single-electron transistor is a nano-device with large potential for low-power applications that can be used as logic elements in integrated circuits. In this device, the conductance oscillates with a well-defined period due to the Coulomb blockade effect. By using a unique technique, we explore single-electron transistors based on a single metallic nanoparticle with tunable coupling to electric leads. We demonstrate a unique regime in which the transistor is characterized by multi-periodic oscillations of the conductance with gate voltage where the additional periods are harmonics of the basic periodicity of the Coulomb blockade and their relative strength can be controllably tuned. These harmonics correspond to a charge change on the dot by a fraction of the electron charge. The presence of multiple harmonics makes these transistors potential elements in future miniaturization of nano-sized circuit elements.
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