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J Phys Condens Matter. 2010 Nov 17;22(45):454114. doi: 10.1088/0953-8984/22/45/454114. Epub 2010 Oct 29.

Fabrication of nanopores with embedded annular electrodes and transverse carbon nanotube electrodes.

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Department of Physics, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912, USA.


Nanopores with one or two embedded nanoelectrodes can be fabricated by high resolution, milling-based methods. We first demonstrate how a focused ion beam, whose sputtering mechanism is well understood, can create a nanopore containing an annular electrode of an arbitrary metal, and with a regular perimeter. The inner surface of the nanopore can be insulated, and its diameter can be reduced with nanometer precision, by conformally coating a dielectric material by atomic layer deposition. We then investigate the mechanism of pore formation using a transmission electron microscope (TEM) through studies of the milling rate, and its dependence on the flux of electrons and on the atomic number of different target metals. Sputtering from the surface is identified as the dominant mechanism. Accordingly, light element conductors should be chosen to enhance the rate and resolution of TEM milling, which we demonstrate by articulating a nanopore with transverse carbon nanotube electrodes. Finally, we electrochemically verify that TEM milling preserves the quality of an annular gold electrode through cyclic voltammetry measurements performed at various stages of the fabrication.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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