We have studied electron tunneling across the gap between two electrodes as the gap is varied by electrodeposition and etching. The tunneling current tends to change in a stepwise fashion, corresponding to a discrete change of the gap width. The stepwise change is due to the discrete nature of atoms and a series of structural relaxations of the atoms at the electrodes between stable configurations upon deposition and etching. By stabilizing the tunneling current on various steps using a feedback loop, we have demonstrated that stable molecular-scale gaps can be fabricated with subangstrom precision.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)