Journal article

Uniform semiclassical wave function for coherent two- dimensional electron flow

We find a uniform semiclassical (SC) wave function describing coherent branched flow through a two-dimensional electron gas (2DEG), a phenomenon recently discovered by direct imaging of the current using scanned probed microscopy [M.A. Topinka, B.J. LeRoy, S.E.J. Shaw, E.J. Heller, R.M. Westervelt, K.D. Maranowski, and A.C. Gossard, Science 289, 2323 (2000)]. The formation of branches has been explained by classical arguments [M.A. Topinka, B.J. LeRoy, R.M. Westervelt, S.E.J. Shaw, R. Fleischmann, E.J. Heller, K.D. Maranowski, and A.C. Gossard, Nature (London) 410, 183 (2001)], but the SC simulations necessary to account for the coherence are made difficult by the proliferation of catastrophes in the phase space. In this paper, expansion in terms of “replacement manifolds” is used to find a uniform SC wave function for a cusp singularity. The method is then generalized and applied to calculate uniform wave functions for a quantum-map model of coherent flow through a 2DEG. Finally, the quantum-map approximation is dropped and the method is shown to work for a continuous-time model as well.

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