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Euler buckling instability and enhanced current blockade in suspended single-electron transistors


G. Weick, F. von Oppen, F. Pistolesi

Phys. Rev. B 83, 035420 (2011)


Abstract: Single-electron transistors embedded in a suspended nanobeam or carbon nanotube may exhibit effects originating from the coupling of the electronic degrees of freedom to the mechanical oscillations of the suspended structure. Here, we investigate theoretically the consequences of a capacitive electromechanical interaction when the supporting beam is brought close to the Euler buckling instability by a lateral compressive strain. Our central result is that the low-bias current blockade, originating from the electromechanical coupling for the classical resonator, is strongly enhanced near the Euler instability. We predict that the bias voltage below which transport is blocked increases by orders of magnitude for typical parameters. This mechanism may make the otherwise elusive classical current blockade experimentally observable.