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The Tunneling Time of an Electron

Thornber, K. K. and McGill, Thomas C. and Mead, C. A. (1967) The Tunneling Time of an Electron. Journal of Applied Physics, 38 (5). p. 2384. ISSN 0021-8979.

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There is a widely spread misconception regarding the physical significance of the various tunneling times currently used to describe metal-insulator-metal tunneling phenomena. Using quantum mechanics, the transition time of an electron tunneling from a state on one side of the barrier to a state on the other side can be determined. This time is the period of interaction between the electron and the barrier, since before and after the transition, the electron is in a quantum state of one of the metals. Furthermore, the RC time constant of the sandwich-like device and the electron transition or interaction time are equivalent representations of the same physical parameter. But none of these times is the quasiclassical "transmission time" analyzed by Hartman, which has become widely accepted as the electron-barrier interaction time, although this was clearly not his intention. In this communication we wish to point out that it is the (quantum mechanical) transition time which is the characteristic time of tunneling phenomena.

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Additional Information:© 1967 The American Institute of Physics. Received 21 July 1966; in final form 11 January 1967.
Issue or Number:5
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20141216-154636409
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:52911
Deposited By: Kristin Buxton
Deposited On:17 Dec 2014 03:58
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 07:45

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