Anomalously large capacitance of a plane capacitor with a two-dimensional electron gas

Brian Skinner, B. I. Shklovskii

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In electronic devices where a two-dimensional electron gas (2DEG) comprises one or both sides of a plane capacitor, the resulting capacitance C can be larger than the "geometric capacitance" Cg determined by the physical separation d between electrodes. This larger capacitance is known to result from the Coulomb correlations between individual electrons within the low-density 2DEG, which lead to a negative thermodynamic density of states. Experiments on such systems generally operate in the regime where the average spacing between electrons n-1/2 in the 2DEG is smaller than d and these experiments observe C> Cg by only a few percent. A recent experiment, however, has observed C larger than Cg by almost 40% while operating in the regime nd2 ≪1. In this paper we argue that at nd2 ≪1 correlations between the electronic charge of opposite electrodes become important. We develop a theory of the capacitance for the full range of nd2. We show that, in the absence of disorder, the capacitance can be 4d/a times larger than the geometric value, where a≪d is the electron Bohr radius. Our results compare favorably with the experiment of Li [arXiv:1006.2847 (unpublished)] without the use of adjustable parameters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number155111
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number15
StatePublished - Oct 6 2010

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