The most important applications of the quantum Hall effect (QHE) are in the field of metrology. The observed quantization of the resistance is primarily used for the reproduction of the SI unit ohm, but is also important for high precision measurements of both the fine structure constant and the Planck constant. Some current QHE research areas include the analysis of new electron–electron correlation phenomena and the development of a more complete microscopic picture of this quantum effect. Recently, scanning force microscopy (SFM) of the potential distribution in QHE devices has been used to enhance the microscopic understanding of current flow in quantum Hall systems. This confirms the importance of the theoretically predicted stripes of compressible and incompressible electronic states close to the boundary of the QHE devices.
One contribution of 14 to a Discussion Meeting ‘The fundamental constants of physics, precision measurements and the base units of the SI’.
- © 2005 The Royal Society