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Magnetoconductivity of two-dimensional electrons on liquid helium: Experiments in the fluid phase

Magnetoconductivity of two-dimensional electrons on liquid helium: Experiments in the fluid phase

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Magnetoconductivity of two-dimensional electrons on liquid helium:Experiments in the fluid phase
M. J. Lea, P. Fozooni, A. Kristensen, P. J. Richardson, and K. Djerfi
 Department of Physics, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX, England 
M. I. Dykman and C. Fang-Yen
 Department of Physics and Astronomy, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824
A. Blackburn
 Department of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton, SO17 1BJ, England 
Received 16 May 1996; revised manuscript received 25 November 1996
The magnetoconductivity
 
(
 B
) of two-dimensional electrons on liquid helium was measured from 0.25 to1.3 K in the electron fluid phase in magnetic fields up to 8 T. In low magnetic fields
B
,
 
(0)/ 
 
(
 B
)
1
(
 B
)
2
as in the Drude model, where
is the zero-field mobility due to scattering by
4
He vapor atoms andripplons, even for
 B
1. The values of mobility are in good agreement with previous measurements and withcalculations for a correlated electron fluid. At higher fields,
 
(0)/ 
 
(
 B
) deviates from the Drude model andbecomes density dependent due to many-electron effects. Only at the highest fields, or the lowest densities,does
 
(
 B
) approach the theoretical single-particle magnetoconductivity. For both vapor-atom and ripplonscattering the results are in good agreement with a microscopic many-electron theory in which the diffusion of the cyclotron orbits is controlled by the internal fluctuational electric fields. The density and temperaturedependence of these internal fields derived from the experiments are in excellent agreement with Monte Carlosimulations.
S0163-1829
97
06024-4
I. INTRODUCTION
Two-dimensional electrons in surface states above super-fluid helium form the simplest conducting system knownexperimentally.
1
Below 1 K the electrons are in the quantumground state of the potential well formed by the helium sur-face and a vertical electric field. However, they are free tomove horizontally with very high mobilities
, limited byscattering from
4
He vapor atoms and by the thermal surfacevibrations, or ripplons. For vapor atoms the scattering maybe regarded as almost ideal, short-range, and quasielasticwhile ripplon scattering is also well understood. At the elec-tron densities which are stable on bulk helium,
n
2
10
13
m
2
, the electrons in the fluid phase are dilute
typi-cal separation 1
m
, classical, and nondegenerate. How-ever, the electrons are strongly interacting via long-rangeCoulomb forces, with a macroscopic screening length deter-mined by the distance to underlying metallic electrodes

100
m in these experiments.
In most experiments, theplasma parameter
the ratio of the characteristic unscreenedCoulomb energy to the kinetic energy
,
e
2
(
 
n
)
1/2
 /4
 
0
kT 
1, while for
127
low
the sys-tem forms a two-dimensional
2D
electron crystal.
2
Giventhe experimental flexibility and control over the density, tem-perature, mobility, and magnetic field, this is an ideal systemfor investigating the influence of electron-electron interac-tions on fundamental transport properties.In particular, recent data clearly indicates that electron-electron interactions, and the internal electric fields whichthey produce, have a dramatic inuence on themagnetoresistivity
3
and magnetoconductivity
4,5
in this sys-tem. A single-particle approach will not suffice. Experimen-tally, the low field magnetoconductivity and magnetoresistiv-ity follow the simple Drude model over a very wide range of conditions, even for
 B
 
c
 
500, well in the range of classically strong magnetic fields
 
c
eB
 / 
m
is the cyclo-tron frequency
. This is rather surprising, given that Landaulevel quantization should occur with energy levels at (
 N 
0.5)
 
c
for
 B
1. The energy density of states willchange dramatically with magnetic field and would be ex-pected to enhance the elastic scattering rate, depending onthe width of the Landau levels. For independent electrons,the only contribution to this width is the collision broaden-ing, which can be found from the self-consistent Bornapproximation
6
SCBA
or from the method of moments
7
which give similar results. This approach works well for lowmobility samples,
8
though with some residual quantitativediscrepancies, but at higher mobilities (20
2000 m
2
 /V s), the narrower collision width becomes lessthan the energy spread given by the product of the many-electron internal force
e
E
 f 
and characteristic lengths such asthe thermal de Broglie wavelength and the quantum mag-netic length. This essentially smears out the density of statesand leads back to the Drude model for magnetic fields lessthan some
onset field B
0
, which is typically 0.5 T for elec-trons on helium. For
B
 B
0
,
 
 xx
becomes density dependentand 1/ 
 
 xx
is then directly proportional to the internal electricfield strength. At higher fields the collision width of the Lan-dau levels increases again and the independent electrontheory
SCBA
does become valid. Previous measurementsand interpretations of the magnetoconductivity only consid-ered single-particle theories.
9
The many-electron transporteffects have been studied theoretically in the extreme quan-tum limit of strong magnetic field
10
and interesting density-
PHYSICAL REVIEW B 15 JUNE 1997-IIVOLUME 55, NUMBER 24550163-1829/97/55
24
 /16280
13
 /$10.00 16 280 © 1997 The American Physical Society
 
dependent effects were observed in cyclotron resonance.
11
Recently, the damping of edge magnetoplasmons has beenused to determine the magnetoconductivity
 
 xx
,
12
both inthe vapor-atom and ripplon scattering regimes, in goodagreement with the direct measurements reportedpreviously
3,4
and in this paper and confirming the influenceof many-electron effects.Recently a comprehensive many-electron theory of trans-port phenomena in strongly correlated classical and semi-classical systems has been developed.
13
In parallel with thisincreased theoretical understanding we have also developedthe experimental techniques based on high-precision Corbinoelectrodes, fabricated using modern lithographic techniques.These new electrodes give improved experimental resolu-tion.This paper describes measurements of 
 
 xx
from 0.25 to1.3 K in the 2D electron fluid phase, at fields up to 8 T, inboth the vapor-atom and ripplon scattering regimes. The pa-per is organized as follows. In Sec. II we give an account of the basic theoretical concepts underlying many-electronmagnetoconductivity within the framework of the Einsteindiffusion relation. In Sec. III we describe the experimentalcell, the Corbino electrodes, and the experimental proce-dures. In Sec. IV we give the experimental results and ana-lyze them in terms of the internal electric fields in the 2Dsystem while in Sec. V we draw the main conclusions andthe Appendix gives some of the theoretical expressions used.
II. MAGNETOCONDUCTIVITYA. Zero-field mobility
The zero-field mobility
and the zero-field conductivity
 
0
ne
in the 2D electron fluid have been measured bymany authors using rectangular electrodes
the originalSommer-Tanner technique
14
, circular Corbinoelectrodes,
15,16
the plasma linewidth,
17
or a resonant cavity atradio frequencies.
18
The most detailed measurements in zerofield are those of Mehrotra
et al.
19
below 1 K, using frequen-cies up to 2 MHz and by Stan and Dahm.
20
The mobility isstrongly temperature dependent and varies from 1 m
2
 /V s just below the
point to over 2000 m
2
 /V s at 0.1 K
depend-ing on the density
. Within the single-particle approximation,the zero-field mobility has been calculated for vapor-atomand ripplon scattering by Saitoh,
21
using the electron-ripploninteraction
22
which depends strongly on the perpendicularelectric pressing field
. However, Buntar’
et al.
18
pointedout that the electron-electron correlation time for
n
10
12
m
2
is less than the electron-ripplon relaxation time.For an energy dependent interaction
such as with ripplons,but not vapor atoms
this leads to a different average in theexpression for
which can be a factor of 2 smaller than thesingle-particle result
in Ref. 18 the effect was considered interms of occasional electron-electron collisions as if the elec-tron system were a weakly nonideal plasma
. For a stronglycorrelated classical electron system the zero magnetic fieldscattering rate
 
0
1
is shown in the Appendix to be of theform
 
0
1
e
2
 E 
2
4
 
s
1
 E 
1
 E 
 E 
22
 E 
2
,
1
where
 
s
is the surface tension and
1
and
2
are explicitintegrals which are functions of the temperature
and thevertical pressing field
as given in the Appendix. Thisexpression is valid for
 
 p
k
1 where
 
 p
(
e
2
n
3/2
 /2
0
m
)
1/2
is the characteristic frequency of short-wavelength 2D plasmons. However, the numerical values forthe mobility given by Eq.
1
are very close to those fromSaitoh’s expressions
21
and also the calculations done byMehrotra
et al.
19
For higher densities the motion of an elec-tron in the field of other electrons is no longer classical. Theanalysis of this case is beyond the scope of the present paper.
B. Conductivity as diffusion: The Einstein relation
The Drude model gives the magnetoconductivity of a 2Delectron system
2DES
by assuming independent electronsin classical orbits in a magnetic field and a field-independentscattering time. The tensor components of the magnetocon-ductivity
 
and magnetoresistivity
 
are as follows
the signsof the components given are positive for negative charges,putting
e
e
:
 
 xx
 
0
1
2
 B
2
,
 
 yx
 B
 
 xx
,
2a
 
 xx
 
0
,
 
 xy
 B
 / 
ne
.
2b
These simple results act as benchmarks for our experimentsto measure
 
 xx
. A useful parameter to plot experimentally isthe ratio
ne
 / 
 
which for the Drude model at
 B
1 be-comes
ne
 
 B
 B
2
.
3
Conductivity in a 2D electron fluid is essentially a diffu-sion process. The Einstein relation between mobility and thediffusion constant for a system obeying Maxwell-Boltzmannstatistics gives
 
 xx
ne
2
k L
2
 
 B
,
4
where
L
is the diffusion length and
 
 B
1
is the scattering ratein a field. In zero magnetic field, putting 2
 L
2
equal to thesquared mean free path reproduces
 
0
ne
. In a magneticfield the diffusion length is given by
L
2
 R
c
2
 /2, where
R
c
(2
mkT 
)
1/2
 / 
eB
is the classical cyclotron radius, for
 
c
kT 
1, while for
 
c
k
1, only the lowest Landaulevel is occupied and
L
2
l
2
 /2 where
l
(
 / 
eB
)
1/2
is themagnetic length. The various conductivity models corre-spond to selecting the value of 
L
and the scattering rate,
23
asshown in Table I. The Einstein model is, of course, equiva-lent to the orbit-center migration theory of Kubo
et al.
24
andAndo
et al.
6
The Drude model, for
 B
1, is given by classical cyclo-tron orbits and
 
 B
 
0
, which leads to
ne
 / 
 
 B
2
as shownin Table I. But the Drude model neglects the quantization of electron orbits into Landau levels, which changes the scat-tering rate via the density of states. In the self-consistentBorn approximation
SCBA
for
 
-function scatterers, as dis-cussed by Ando
et al.
6
for degenerate electrons, the Landau
55 16 281MAGNETOCONDUCTIVITY OF TWO-DIMENSIONAL . . .
 
levels are collision broadened to a width
s
 / 
 
 B
. Hencethe scattering rate is enhanced by a factor
 
c
s
as theelectron states from an energy range
 
c
are concentratedinto
s
. For a semielliptical density of states
6
at each Lan-dau level this leads to the self-consistent result 1/ 
 
 B
(2
 B
 / 
 
)
1/2
 / 
 
0
. An expression for the resultant magneto-conductivity for a nondegenerate 2D electron gas has beengiven by van der Heijden
et al.
25
The functional dependencesof 
ne
 / 
 
are given by the Einstein relation as shown inTable I. Scheuzger
et al.
26
derived the corresponding expres-sions for Gaussian density of states, with slightly differentprefactors
the factor 2/ 
 
becomes 1/2
. The original SCBAtheory was only valid for
 
 xx
 
 yx
1 but it has been ex-tended to all values of this ratio,
27
keeping
 
c
 
 B
1, andgave an excellent fit to data on edge-mode propagation forelectrons on helium at temperatures above 1.7 K at very highmagnetic fields
up to 22 T
, where the vapor-atom scatteringis very strong.
25
It is our contention that as the mobilityincreases, electron-electron interactions become increasinglyimportant.The corresponding SCBA theory for the magnetoconduc-tivity for ripplon scattering in the 2D electron fluid has beengiven by Saitoh
28
for
 
c
k
1, who also calculated
 
 xx
(
 B
) for the 2D solid phase.
C. Many-electron effects
In the relatively dilute 2DES on helium, there is negli-gible wave function overlap and the force on an individualelectron can be expressed in terms of a local fluctuating elec-tric field
E
 f 
. The distribution of 
E
 f 
for a classical normalliquid has been obtained in several ways. Since fluctuationsin the system are thermal, and the field arises because of theelectron-electron interactions, it is convenient to write themean-square field in the form
 E 
 f 
2
2
mk
 
 p
2
e
2
kTn
3/2
4
 
¯ 
0
 E 
02
,
5
where
 
 p
(
e
2
n
3/2
 /2
0
m
)
1/2
is the 2D plasma frequencywith a wave vector
q
n
1/2
and
¯ 
1.0286. The force drivingan electron can be calculated for large
low
in the 2Dcrystal phase
29
and arises because of the displacement of theelectrons from the lattice sites
R
i
. In the harmonic approxi-mation it is linear in the displacement, has a Gaussian distri-bution, and
(
)
8.91, independent of 
. In the most in-teresting range of the normal electron liquid and of themelting transition the function
(
) has been obtained fromMonte Carlo simulations in Ref. 30 and is plotted in Fig. 1.The variation of 
is surprisingly small in this range, varyingfrom 9.1 at
200 to 9.5 for
20 although the structureof the system changes dramatically from a good crystal to aliquid whose correlations decay over a few electron spacings.Previous analyses and calculations of the many-electronmagnetoconductivity in the fluid phase invoked short-rangeorder
31
and used the value
8.91.The effects of these internal fields on the magnetotrans-port can be considered in several ways. The basic ideas canbe simply understood in terms of cyclotron orbit diffusion.The scattering rate for elastic scattering depends on the elec-tron density of states or smearing of the Landau levels. In thesingle-particle SCBA this smearing is the Landau level col-lision width
s
 / 
 
. But for a fluctuating many-electronfield of magnitude
 f 
, there are other characteristic energies.For
 
c
k
1, the characteristic ‘‘size’’ of the electron isthe thermal de Broglie wavelength
 / 
2
mk
. Hencethere is a quantum uncertainty of the kinetic energy of theelectron wave packet
eE 
 f 
due to the fluctuating in-ternal fields. For
 
c
, which corresponds to
 
 p
 
c
,or
B
0.23 T for
n
10
12
m
2
, Landau level quantization issmeared out and the orbit diffusion and magnetoconductivityare essentially the same as in the Drude formalism. This isalso the case for
c
e
 f 
 R
c
 
c
, where
c
is the energyvariation across a cyclotron orbit radius
R
c
. The condition
c
 
c
defines a characteristic magnetic field
B
0
9.69
10
6
1/4
n
3/8
1/2
T which is the onset field for mag-netoresistance and for deviations from Drude-like magneto-conductivity, and lies between 0.2 and 1 T in these experi-
FIG. 1. The scaled mean square field
(
) from Monte Carlocalculations. The asymptotic value of 
8.91 for a harmonic clas-sical Wigner crystal is shown dashed. Inset: the field componentdistribution.TABLE I. 2D magnetoconductivity for short-range scattering,using the Einstein relation, for
 
c
 
 B
1.
 
(
ne
2
 / 
kT 
)(
 L
2
 / 
 
 B
);
 R
c
(2
mk
)
1/2
 / 
eB
;
l
(
 / 
eB
)
1/2
.Model
L
2
 
0
 
 B
ne
 
Drude-classical
R
c
2
1
 B
2
Drude-quantum
l
2
1
 BT 
Single electronLandau levelsClassical orbits
 R
c
2
(
 B
)
1/2
 B
3/2
1/2
Single electronLandau levelsQuantum orbits
l
2
(
 B
)
1/2
TB
1/2
1/2
Many-electronLandau levelsClassical orbits
 B
 B
0
 R
c
2
 
c
c
c
eE 
 f 
 R
c
 
 B
02
 B
04
2
m
3
kT 
 E 
 f 
2
2
e
2
Many-electronLandau levelsQuantum orbits
l
2
 
c
q
q
eE 
 f 
l
4
 B
02
(
 
c
kT 
)
1/2
16 282 55M. J. LEA
et al.

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