FOM Program Quantum Interference
Quantum interference effects are at the core of modern physics. Especially fascinating is the fact that interference of electron waves is directly observable through the conductance of a phase-coherent conductor. In general, constructive interference leads to enhanced conductance values, whereas destructive interference results in suppression. Arguably the most famous examples are formed by mesoscopic, micron-scale Aharonov-Bohm rings, in which the phase difference is controlled by a magnetic flux. We will study quantum interference in molecular junctions. At this (nano-)scale, room-temperature operation becomes feasible and interference leads to conductance changes that are expected to be orders of magnitude larger than in the mesoscopic equivalents.