Fabrication, functionalization and electrical conductance modulation of nanoparticle based molecular electronic Nano-devices

  • Datum:
  • Plats: Häggsalen, Ångström Laboratory, Regementsvägen 1, Uppsala
  • Doktorand: Wani, Ishtiaq Hassan
  • Om avhandlingen
  • Arrangör: Tillämpad materialvetenskap
  • Kontaktperson: Wani, Ishtiaq Hassan
  • Disputation


Over the years many techniques have been proposed for the purpose of the formation of electrically conducting metal-molecule-metal junctions. One such technique utilizes gold-nanoparticles (AuNPs) that could assist in contacting small molecules between large gaps. The Ideal device structure then comprises of one nanoparticle and two molecules that are aligned as electrode1-molecule-AuNP-molecule-electrode2.

In present work these AuNP-molecule hybrids were fabricated inside sub 20 nm sized nanogaps between nanoelectrodes. The nanogaps were fabricated by milling of thin gold wires using focused ion beam. The tuning of the ion dosage resulted in the tuning of the gap size and the smallest nanogap of 2.3 nm was achieved.

The nano molecular electronic device (nanoMoED) platform comprised of the AuNPs that were assembled inside the nanogaps via dielectrophoresis. Two types of the AuNPs were used that were different from each other due to their functionalization chemistry. The low bias resistance 'RLB' of the nanoMoED platform was (i) reduced as compared to the nanogaps (ii) remained stable in toluene and air, and (iii) was reduced when exposed to the electron beam.

The nanoMoED platform was functionalized with various molecules using the molecular place exchange method. The successful functionalization resulted in the reduction of the 'RLB'. The smallest value of the 'RLBof the nanoMoED devices was achieved when the inserted molecule was not only highly conducting but also its length was same as the initial spacing between the AuNPs.

The nitrogen dioxide (NO2) molecules reduced the 'RLBof the nanoMoED devices that were made with 4,4'-biphenyl dithiol. The theoretical simulations showed that this reduction was due to the induced states at Fermi energy of the junction. The nanoMoED devices made with 1,8-octanedithiol showed conductance switching between two levels because of different geometries of the Au-S contact. This switching vanished when these devices were exposed to NO2 and a strong enhancement of signal to noise ratio was observed.

On the basis of these results this thesis suggests possible routes for the fabrication of highly conducting nanoMoED devices as well as elucidates the possibility of using the nanoMoED devices for gas sensing applications.