Physica Scripta

Coherent electron scattering in mesoscopic metal films

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In mesoscopic metal films (size smaller than the inelastic diffusion length for the electrons), ensemble averaging is incomplete. Direct interference between the electron waves gives rise to a sample specific magnetoresistance. The magnetoresistance of a mesoscopic loop oscillates with flux-period h/e. In series arrays of mesoscopic loops, the h/e amplitude is inversely proportional to the square-root of the number of loops. This is in agreement with the stochastic "self-averaging" of the direct interference in larger samples. In long metal cylinders, impurity averaging is complete and only h/2e oscillations caused by the weak electron localization, are present. © IOP Publishing Ltd.