Figure 2
Illustration: Alan Stonebraker

Figure 2: Dynamical picture of Coulomb blockade. If the bias voltage allows tunneling, charge accumulates continuously (a) until an integer value is reached and the effective potential jumps up (b) and the level is out of alignment with the chemical potential of the leads. Charge flows out again (c) and the potential jumps back down (d).The process repeats, leading to periodic potential jumps and current oscillations, as shown in the inset.