Open Access Nano Express

A new transport phenomenon in nanostructures: a mesoscopic analog of the Braess paradox encountered in road networks

Marco Pala1, Hermann Sellier2, Benoit Hackens3, Frederico Martins3, Vincent Bayot23 and Serge Huant2*

Author affiliations

1 IMEP-LAHC, Grenoble INP, Minatec, BP 257, Grenoble, F-38016, France

2 Institut Néel, CNRS and Université Joseph Fourier, BP 166, Grenoble, F-38042, France

3 IMCN/NAPS, UCLouvain, 2 Chemin du Cyclotron, Louvain-la-Neuve, B-1348, Belgium

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Citation and License

Nanoscale Research Letters 2012, 7:472  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-472

Published: 22 August 2012


The Braess paradox, known for traffic and other classical networks, lies in the fact that adding a new route to a congested network in an attempt to relieve congestion can degrade counterintuitively the overall network performance. Recently, we have extended the concept of the Braess paradox to semiconductor mesoscopic networks, whose transport properties are governed by quantum physics. In this paper, we demonstrate theoretically that, alike in classical systems, congestion plays a key role in the occurrence of a Braess paradox in mesoscopic networks.

Braess paradox; Mesoscopic physics; Congested networks; Scanning gate microscopy