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Quantum dot transistors and nanowire transistors are fabricated from a metal-semiconductor field-effect-transistor-type wafer and are characterized at low temperatures. Clear single-electron tunneling and various quantum effects, such as transport through excited states and negative differential resistance, are observed in our wire device. Our data suggest that the potential fluctuation of the heavily doped GaAs layer has a much larger characteristic length than interimpurity spacing, and that this is due to the low ionization rate (approximately 10%) of the dopant atoms at 4.2 K. © 2004 American Institute of Physics.