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Electrical Transport Through Single Nanoparticles And Nanoparticle Arrays

M. Manheller, S. Karthäuser, R. Waser, K. Blech, U. Simon
Published 2012 · Chemistry

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In order to achieve the next generation of nanometer-sized electronic devices, a detailed understanding and control of electrical transport is essential. One approach to fabricate nanodevices based on functional components is to assemble a 3D array of nanoparticles on electrode structures, while another method is to bridge the gap between two nanoelectrodes by a single nanoparticle. Here we report on electronic transport measurements of biphenylpropanethiol-capped gold nanoparticles with a diameter of 4 nm used as functional units studied in both setups. The resulting conductance measurements reveal different types of transport mechanisms depending on temperature, such as hopping, superexchange coupling, and tunneling. In addition, Coulomb blockade behavior is shown in the single-nanoparticle device at 4 K and at room temperature. Moreover, a discontinuity in the conductance as a function of temperature is discussed in terms of a possible structural crossover in particle morphologies.
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