Long-Range Order in Electronic Transport through Disordered Metal Film

Ron Folman

Dept. of Physics, Ben Gurion University

Ultracold atom magnetic field microscopy enables the probing of current flow patterns in planar structures with unprecedented sensitivity. In polycrystalline metal (gold) films we observe long-range correlations forming organized patterns oriented at 45 degrees relative to the mean current flow, even at room temperature and at length scales orders of magnitude larger than the diffusion length or the grain size. The preference to form patterns at these angles is a direct consequence of universal scattering properties at defects. The observed amplitude of the current direction fluctuations scales inversely to that expected from the relative thickness variations, the grain size and the defect concentration, all determined independently by standard methods. This indicates that ultracold atom magnetometry enables new insight into the interplay between disorder and transport.

[1] Science 319, 1226 (2008)
[2] cond-mat 0803.4307