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Atomistic Breaking Processes Via Electromigration In Platinum Nanocontacts

T. Kizuka, S. Kodama
Published 2014 · Physics

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Platinum nanocontacts were thinned by applying bias voltages of up to 620 mV, followed by fracture. The breaking processes were observed in situ by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy at the atomic scale. Electromigration was observed to cause the thinning of the nanocontacts, and the conductance measured during breaking was attributed to migration states. Electromigration proceeded via the formation and subsequent migration of atomic steps on the surface, resulting in the layer-by-layer thinning of nanocontacts. This process exemplifies the unzipping model of electromigration. Furthermore, the gap distances after fracture resulting from electromigration were measured as a function of bias voltage. The understanding of the relationship could lead to the reliable control of nanogap formation using electromigration.
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