Electrical transport measurements of individual bismuth nanowires and carbon nanotubes

Jang, Wan Young
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Nanostructures are defined by reducing dimensions. When the reduced size of materials is comparable to the Fermi wavelength, quantum size effect occurs. Dimensionality plays a critical role in determining the electronic properties of materials, because the density of states of materials is quite different. Nanowires have attracted much attention recently due to their fundamental interest and potential application s. A number of materials have been tried. Among them, bismuth has unique properties.
Bismuth has the smallest effective mass as small as 0.001me. This small effective mass of Bi nanowires allows one to observe the quantum confinement effect easily. Also Bi nanowires are good candidates for a low-dimensional transport study due to long mean free path. Because of these remarkable properties of Bi nanowires, many efforts have been made to study Bi nanowires. However, because bismuth is extremely sensitive to the oxide, it is very difficult to make a reliable device. So far, array measurements of Bi nanowires have been reported. The study is focused on the synthesis and electric transport measurements of individual Bi nanowires. Bi nanowires are synthesized by electrodeposition using either anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) templates or commercially available track etched polycarbonate membranes (PCTE). The desired nanowire has a heterostructure of Au – Bi – Au. Au wires on both sides serve as contact electrodes with Bi. To extract nanowires from PCTE or AAO, several attempts have been made.
Devices consisting of single Bi nanowires grown by hydrothermal method are fabricated and electrical measurements have been carried out after in-situ deposition of Pt electrodes. The temperature dependence of resistance of majority of nanowires increases with decreasing temperature, showing polycrystalline nature of nanowires. However, some nanowires show resistance peaks at low temperature, suggesting quantum size effect (QSE). Magnetoresistance (MR) has also been measured. We have also studied electric transport measurements of carbon nanotubes grown in AAO templates. These vertically grown carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are useful for field emission device. In addition, ultra-density vertical CNT transistor arrays have also been proposed based on these nanotube structures. To realize these interesting electronic applications, a detailed understanding of the electronic transport properties of the nanotubes is needed. In particular, nanotubes grown in the AAO templates are known to possess significant amount of structural disorder. It is thus important to elucidate the effect of disorder on the electronic properties of these nanotubes. Electrical transport measurements of individual carbon nanotubes are studied, The four-terminal resistance at room temperature scales linearly with the nanotube length indicating diffusive nature of transport. The conductance shows an exp[(-1/T)1/3] dependence on temperature T, suggesting that two-dimensional variable-range hopping is the dominant conduction mechanism. The maximum current density carried by these nanotubes is on the order of 106 A/cm2.