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Fabrication of Single-Electron Transistors Using Field-Emission-Induced Electromigration

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We report a novel technique for the fabrication of planar-type Ni-based single-electron transistors (SETs) using electromigration method induced by field emission current. The method is so-called "activation" and is demonstrated using arrow-shaped Ni nanogap electrodes with initial gap separations of 21–68 nm. Using the activation method, we are easily able to obtain the SETs by Fowler-Nordheim (F-N) field emission current passing through the nanogap electrodes. The F-N field emission current plays an important role in triggering the migration of Ni atoms. The nanogap is narrowed because of the transfer of Ni atoms from source to drain electrode. In the activation procedure, we defined the magnitude of a preset current Is and monitored the current I between the nanogap electrodes by applying voltage V. When the current I reached a preset current Is, we stopped the voltage V. As a result, the tunnel resistance of the nanogaps was decreased from the order of 100 TΩ to 100 kΩ with increasing the preset current Is from 1 nA to 150 A. Especially, the devices formed by the activation with the preset current from 100 nA to 1.5 A exhibited Coulomb blockade phenomena at room temperature. Coulomb blockade voltage of the devices was clearly modulated by the gate voltage quasi-periodically, resulting in the formation of multiple tunnel junctions of the SETs at room temperature. By increasing the preset current from 100 nA to 1.5 A in the activation scheme, the charging energy of the SETs at room temperature was decreased, ranging from 1030 meV to 320 meV. Therefore, it is found that the charging energy and the number of islands of the SETs are controllable by the preset current during the activation. These results clearly imply that the activation procedure allows us to easily and simply fabricate planar-type Ni-based SETs operating at room temperature.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2010-11-01

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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