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Mechanical and electrical coupling at metal-insulator-metal nano-scale contacts

Published

Author(s)

Doo-In Kim, Pradeep Namboodiri, Frank W. DelRio, Robert F. Cook

Abstract

Mechanical and electrical coupling at nano-scale metallic contacts was investigated using a conducting-probe atomic force microscope (AFM). The current-voltage responses were non-Ohmic, symmetric about zero bias, with conductance values smaller than the quantum conductance limit, which indicate electron tunneling through an insulating layer. Using a self-consistent contact mechanics model and a parabolic tunneling model for thin insulating layers, we determined the contact area, barrier height, and barrier thickness as a function of applied contact load. The results suggest the presence of two insulating layers: an oxide layer on the AFM tip and an organic contaminant layer on the metallic surface.
Citation
Applied Physics Letters
Volume
93

Keywords

atomic force microscope, electron tunneling, contact mechanics

Citation

Kim, D. , Namboodiri, P. , DelRio, F. and Cook, R. (2008), Mechanical and electrical coupling at metal-insulator-metal nano-scale contacts, Applied Physics Letters (Accessed January 28, 2023)
Created May 21, 2008, Updated October 12, 2021