Controlled fabrication of nanogaps in ambient environment for molecular electronics 043109

D. R. Strachan, D. E. Smith, D. E. Johnston, T. H. Park, Michael J. Therien, D. A. Bonnell, A. T. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

267 Scopus citations

Abstract

We have developed a controlled and highly reproducible method of making nanometer-spaced electrodes using electromigration in ambient lab conditions. This advance will make feasible single molecule measurements of macromolecules with tertiary and quaternary structures that do not survive the liquid-helium temperatures at which electromigration is typically performed. A second advance is that it yields gaps of desired tunneling resistance, as opposed to the random formation at liquid-helium temperatures. Nanogap formation occurs through three regimes: First it evolves through a bulk-neck regime where electromigration is triggered at constant temperature, then to a few-atom regime characterized by conductance quantum plateaus and jumps, and finally to a tunneling regime across the nanogap once the conductance falls below the conductance quantum.

Original languageEnglish
Article number043109
Pages (from-to)043109-1-043109-3
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Volume86
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported through NSF-NIRT Grant No. 0304531 and MRSEC-NSF Grant No. DMR-00-79909. D.J. acknowledges financial support from NSF IGERT program (Grant No. DGE-0221664) and SENS.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

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