Mechanical Properties of Metallic One-Atom Quantum Point Contacts

  • G. R. Bollinger
  • N. Agraït
  • S. Vieira
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Physics book series (LNP, volume 547)


It is possible to fabricate nanoscopic metallic structures moving the atoms one by one with a scanning tunneling microscope. This technique can be combined with atomic force microscopy, allowing for a combined study of the electronic transport and the mechanical behaviour during the fabrication of these nanoscopic structures. Our experiments show that there is a close relationship between conductance and applied force during the formation of one-atom quantum point contacts. It is shown taht the mechanical process of stretching an atomicsized metallic contact proceeds in a discrete sequence of structural transformations involving elastic and yielding stages.

We have also found that it is possible to obtain a chain of several single gold atoms from a one-atom contact of gold [2]. This new structure is a truly onedimensional conductor and the conductance is independent of its length and has the same value as a single one-atom contact of gold [3]: one conductance quantum (2e2/h).


Mechanical Property Dynamical System State Physics Atomic Force Microscopy Electronic Transport 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. R. Bollinger
    • 1
  • N. Agraït
    • 1
  • S. Vieira
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratorio de Bajas Temperaturas Dpt. Fisica de la Materia CondensadaC-III Universidad Autonoma de MadridMadridSpain

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