Ultrafast Electron Tunneling Devices—from Electric-field driven to Optical-field driven

Shenghan Zhou, Ke Chen, Matthew Cole, Zhenjun Li, Mo Li, Jun Chen, Christoph Lienau, Chi Li, Qing Dai

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (SciVal)
16 Downloads (Pure)


The search for ever higher frequency information processing has become an area of intense research activity within the micro, nano, and optoelectronics communities. Compared to conventional semiconductor-based diffusive transport electron devices, electron tunneling devices provide significantly faster response times due to near-instantaneous tunneling that occurs at sub-femtosecond timescales. As a result, the enhanced performance of electron tunneling devices is demonstrated, time and again, to reimagine a wide variety of traditional electronic devices with a variety of new “lightwave electronics” emerging, each capable of reducing the electron transport channel transit time down to attosecond timescales. In response to unprecedented rapid progress within this field, here the current state-of-the-art in electron tunneling devices is reviewed, current challenges and opportunities are highlighted, and possible future research directions are identified.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2101449
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number35
Early online date8 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sept 2021


  • direct tunneling
  • electron tunneling devices
  • inelastic tunneling
  • optical-field-driven
  • resonant tunneling
  • single-electron tunneling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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