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Fabrication Of Nanometer-spaced Electrodes Using Gold Nanoparticles

S. Khondaker, Z. Yao
Published 2002 · Physics

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A simple and highly reproducible technique is demonstrated for the fabrication of metallic electrodes with nanometer separation. Commercially available bare gold colloidal nanoparticles are first trapped between prefabricated large-separation electrodes to form a low-resistance bridge by an ac electric field. A large dc voltage is then applied to break the bridge via electromigration at room temperature, which consistently produces gaps in the sub-10 nm range. The technique is readily applied to prefabricated electrodes with separation up to 1 μm, which can be defined using optical lithography. The simple fabrication scheme will facilitate electronic transport studies of individual nanostructures made by chemical synthesis. As an example, measurement of a thiol-coated gold nanoparticle showing a clear Coulomb staircase is presented.
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