Electronic molecules in semiconductors and other novel materials

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Semiconductors are usually characterized by a concentration of impurities and defects. The electronic properties of these defects have a strong influence on the quality of devices made from these materials. Here it is demonstrated that under certain conditions there may arise electronic molecules, which behave similarly to quantum defects. The electronic molecules or e-molecules are formed through the formation of a confinement potential, which may trap one or more electrons. The electronic confinement arises either due to a lattice deformation or due to the formation of spontaneous magnetic topological defects or droplets. The shape and size of these e-molecules are arbitrary and depend on physical situations. In many cases they have linear form and one may therefore call them strings. The strings may also be closed into loops as happens with e-molecules in anti-ferromagnetic insulators. Some situations are reviewed in which e-molecules may arise and their properties are discussed. Relevant experiments are also discussed briefly.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)237-250
Number of pages14
JournalContemporary Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2004


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