Current Versus Voltage Characteristics for Deposition and Removal of Gold Nanostructures on a Gold Surface Using Scanning Tunneling Microscopy
We report the deposition and removal of gold nanostructures 50–200 A in diameter on a gold surface using scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) by applying a dc voltage to the tip. The dc voltage is applied using tunneling current versus voltage (I-V) spectroscopy. We observe the deposition of a gold nanostructure at a threshold voltage of approximately 2.8 V. The I-V curves show a large current after deposition consistent with a tip-sample connection. The fact that deposition occurs using a dc voltage supports this tip-sample connection. We also observe the removal of an existing nanostructure which leaves a pit behind on the surface by applying a dc voltage with the tip directly above the nanostructure. In this case, the I-V curves show no current consistent with no tip-sample connection being formed. We conjecture that an electric-field-induced force picks up the nanostructure in whole onto the tip. We propose that occasional pit formation is the result of a tip-sample connection which breaks while the tip is under bias.
KeywordsThreshold Voltage Scan Tunneling Microscopy Voltage Pulse Gold Surface Scan Tunneling Microscopy Image
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