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Conductance quantization histograms of gold nanowires at 4 K
Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology and Göteborg University.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7329-3359
1997 (English)In: Physical Review B Condensed Matter, ISSN 0163-1829, Vol. 55, no 19, 12910-12913 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Driving a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) tip into a metallic surface and pulling it out afterwards results in the formation of a nanometer-sized wire (nanowire) between the electrodes. The electrical conduction measured during this process shows signs of quantized conductance in units of G0=2e2/h. Due to the inherent irreproducibility of the measured conductance curves, the standard technique has been to construct histograms with a few hundred selected curves. These histograms, for gold nanowires at room temperature, have shown three to four peaks at integer values of 2e2/h, while in a low-temperature mechanically controlled break junction study, with statistics using only 65 curves, only the first peak has been reported. A proposed explanation for this apparent experimental discrepancy has been a higher nanowire temperature arising from the higher retraction speed used in scanning tunneling microscopy measurements. However, our simple estimation using macroscopic heat transport theory produces a very low temperature rise, less than 1 μK. In this work, an improved statistical study is presented, where histograms built with thousands of consecutive gold contact breakage experiments at 4 K show up to seven conductance peaks. Thus, no significant differences with our previous room-temperature (RT) studies are observed, pointing to a conductance quantization behavior that is the same at low, intermediate, and high (RT) temperatures.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
1997. Vol. 55, no 19, 12910-12913 p.
Keyword [en]
Nanoscience nanotechnology STM nanowires
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-3178DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.55.12910Local ID: 3128OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-3178DiVA: diva2:28210
Available from: 2008-09-30 Created: 2008-09-30 Last updated: 2013-08-23Bibliographically approved

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Olin, Håkan
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