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Radio Frequency Tunable Oscillator Device Based on a SmB_{6} Microcrystal.

  • Author(s): Stern, Alex
  • Efimkin, Dmitry K
  • Galitski, Victor
  • Fisk, Zachary
  • Xia, Jing
  • et al.
Abstract

Radio frequency tunable oscillators are vital electronic components for signal generation, characterization, and processing. They are often constructed with a resonant circuit and a "negative" resistor, such as a Gunn diode, involving complex structure and large footprints. Here we report that a piece of SmB_{6}, 100  μm in size, works as a current-controlled oscillator in the 30 MHz frequency range. SmB_{6} is a strongly correlated Kondo insulator that was recently found to have a robust surface state likely to be protected by the topology of its electronics structure. We exploit its nonlinear dynamics, and demonstrate large ac voltage outputs with frequencies from 20 Hz to 30 MHz by adjusting a small dc bias current. The behaviors of these oscillators agree well with a theoretical model describing the thermal and electronic dynamics of coupled surface and bulk states. With reduced crystal size we anticipate the device to work at higher frequencies, even in the THz regime. This type of oscillator might be realized in other materials with a metallic surface and a semiconducting bulk.

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