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Conductance fluctuations in metal-nanoparticle-metal junctions

L. V. Govor, G. H. Bauer, G. Reiter, and J. Parisi. Phys. Rev. B 82, 155437 (2010)


We have fabricated devices where the gap between a pair of gold electrodes was bridged by a 20 nm gold particle stabilized with a citrate coating. The current-voltage characteristic I ˜ (V-Vt)ξ (with voltage threshold Vt ≈ 0 and scaling exponent ξ=0.93) is attributed to charge transport in a one-dimensional path. Current fluctuations at a fixed bias voltage were observed, with a fluctuation amplitude Is proportional to the voltage applied voltage. A Fourier analysis of Is(t) showed that the higher harmonics sn of these conductance fluctuations follow a power law sn ˜ fμ (with μ = -0.62 in the range 3-30 mHz and μ = -1.08 in the range 30-100 mHz). We demonstrate that current fluctuations derive from conformational changes in the citrate molecules induced by a charge transfer across the molecules.


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