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potential barrier


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potential barrier

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Tunneling transport through potential barriers

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A region containing a maximum of potential that prevents a particle on one side of it from passing to the other side. According to classical theory a particle must possess energy in excess of the height of the potential barrier to pass it. However, in quantum theory there is a finite probability that a particle with less energy will pass through the barrier (see tunnel effect). A potential barrier surrounds the atomic nucleus and is important in nuclear physics; a similar but much lower barrier exists at the interface between semiconductors and metals and between differently doped semiconductors. These barriers are important in the design of electronic devices.

Subjects: Chemistry — Physics.


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