Contacting nanowires and nanotubes with atomic precision for electronic transport

Shengyong Qin, Sondra Hellstrom, Zhenan Bao, Boyan Boyanov, An-Ping Li

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5 Scopus citations


Making contacts to nanostructures with atomic precision is an important process in the bottom-up fabrication and characterization of electronic nanodevices. Existing contacting techniques use top-down lithography and chemical etching, but lack atomic precision and introduce the possibility of contamination. Here, we report that a field-induced emission process can be used to make local contacts onto individual nanowires and nanotubes with atomic spatial precision. The gold nano-islands are deposited onto nanostructures precisely by using a scanning tunneling microscope tip, which provides a clean and controllable method to ensure both electrically conductive and mechanically reliable contacts. To demonstrate the wide applicability of the technique, nano-contacts are fabricated on silicide atomic wires, carbon nanotubes, and copper nanowires. The electrical transport measurements are performed in situ by utilizing the nanocontacts to bridge the nanostructures to the transport probes. © 2012 American Institute of Physics.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103103
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number10
StatePublished - Mar 6 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): KUS-C1-015-21
Acknowledgements: This research was conducted at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, which is sponsored at Oak Ridge National Laboratory by the Division of Scientific User Facilities, U.S. Department of Energy. S.H. and Z.B. acknowledge support by the Center for Advanced Molecular Photovoltaics, Award KUS-C1-015-21, made by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). S.H. acknowledges support from the National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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