Mechanical properties and formation mechanisms of a wire of single gold atoms

G. Rubio-Bollinger, Sune Rastad Bahn, N. Agrait, Karsten Wedel Jacobsen, S. Vieira

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Abstract

A scanning tunneling microscope supplemented with a force sensor is used to study the mechanical properties of a novel metallic nanostructure: a freely suspended chain of single gold atoms. We find that the bond strength of the nanowire is about twice that of a bulk metallic bond. We perform ab initio calculations of the force at chain fracture and compare quantitatively with experimental measurements. The observed mechanical failure and nanoelastic processes involved during atomic wire fabrication are investigated using molecular dynamics simulations, and we find that the total effective stiffness of the nanostructure is strongly affected by the detailed local atomic arrangement at the chain bases.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume87
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)026101
ISSN0031-9007
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Bibliographical note

Copyright (2001) American Physical Society

Keywords

  • CONDUCTANCE
  • SIGNATURE
  • NANOWIRES
  • METALLIC CONTACTS

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