The one-dimensional, dissipationless edge channels of the quantum Hall effect can be combined with the wave-like nature of electrons at low temperature to perform experiments where the propagation of charges in a quantum circuit mimics the one of light in physical optics experiments. We perform electron optics experiments to probe the coherence properties of charges propagating along quantum Hall edge channels. A striking example of such physics, which we have extensively investigated, are electronic interferences in a Mach-Zehnder geometry, where a beam of electron is split in two, then recombined after a finite propagation length, giving rise to quantum interferences in the electric current.
We are currently investigating the mechanisms leading to energy relaxation of charges propagating along an edge channel, highlighting the strong influence of electron-electron interactions in these systems.
contact: Patrice Roche