Low Dimensional Electron Systems

Coordinators: Herbert Abraham Fertig, Dongning Sheng, Kun Yang

Scientific Advisors: Sankar Das Sarma, James P. Eisenstein, Amir Yacoby

Condensed matter in low dimensions often unlocks physics that is inaccessible or non-existent in three dimensions. Moreover, some of the most important practical advances in materials physics in the last decade involve semiconductors of low-dimensionality and/or small structure at the nanometer scale. Specific examples include: interaction-driven 2D metal-insulator transitions, Abelian and (possibly) non-Abelian fractional quantum Hall effects, fractional quantum Hall edge states, electron-electron and electron-hole bilayers, Wigner crystallization (and other charge density wave states) in high or zero magnetic field, Luttinger liquid physics in quantum wires and carbon nanotubes, possible ferromagnetic phases and phase transitions in one- and two-dimensions, novel interaction physics in quantum dots like the Kondo effect, and, very recently, the realization of Dirac fermions in graphene. Some of these systems have much in common with dilute atomic gases that can be confined in low-dimensional and/or optical lattice geometries.

The goal of this program is to bring together experimentalists and theorists working on various aspects of low-dimensional electron systems and their analogs, to facilitate their communication and interaction, to work toward a full understanding of the various ways that electrons organize themselves in such systems, and to explore the possibility of unexpected collective quantum phases emerging in such systems.

In association with this program, there will be a conference scheduled for the week of Feb 23-27, 2009, with the title New Directions in Low-Dimensional Electron Systems. See the conference page for further information.

The week of April 13-17 will focus on the experimental and theoretical status of research on graphene, for which Sankar das Sarma is the primary coordinator.