As semiconductor device dimensions are reduced to the nanometer scale, the effects of high-defect-density surfaces on the transport properties become important to such an extent that the metallic character that prevails in large and highly doped structures is lost and the use of quantum dots for charge sensing becomes complex. Here, we have investigated the mechanism of the detection of electron motion inside an electrically isolated double quantum dot that is capacitively coupled to a single-electron transistor (SET), both fabricated from highly phosphorus-doped silicon wafers. Despite the absence of direct charge transfer between the detector and the double dot structure, efficient detection is obtained. In particular, unusually large Coulomb peak shifts in gate voltage are observed. The results are explained in terms of charge rearrangement and the presence of inelastic cotunneling via states at the periphery of the SET dot. © IOP Publishing Ltd and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft.
- semiconductor quantum dots
- charge transfer
- current voltage characteristics
- defect density