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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2013 Dec 26;5(24):12869-75. doi: 10.1021/am403115m. Epub 2013 Dec 4.

Self-aligned formation of sub 1 nm gaps utilizing electromigration during metal deposition.

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Nanosystem Research Institute, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) , Namiki 1-2-1, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8564, Japan.


We developed a procedure for the fabrication of sub 1 nm gap Au electrodes via electromigration. Self-aligned nanogap formation was achieved by applying a bias voltage, which causes electromigration during metal evaporation. We also demonstrated the application of this method for the formation of nanogaps as small as 1 nm in width, and we found that the gap size can be controlled by changing the magnitude of the applied voltage. On the basis of the electric conductance and surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) measurements, the fabricated gap size was estimated to be nearly equal to the molecular length of 1,4-benzenedithiol (BDT). Compared with existing electromigration methods, the new method provides two advantages: the process currents are clearly suppressed and parallel or large area production is possible. This simple method for the fabrication of a sub 1 nm gap electrode is useful for single-molecule-sized electronics and opens the door to future research on integrated sub 1 nm sized nanogap devices.


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