Properties of Metallic Nanowires: From Conductance Quantization to Localization

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Science  24 Mar 1995:
Vol. 267, Issue 5205, pp. 1793-1795
DOI: 10.1126/science.267.5205.1793


Material structures of reduced dimensions exhibit electrical and mechanical properties different from those in the bulk. Measurements of room-temperature electronic transport in pulled metallic nanowires are presented, demonstrating that the conductance characteristics depend on the length, lateral dimensions, state and degree of disorder, and elongation mechanism of the wire. Conductance during the elongation of short wires (length l ∼ 50 angstroms) exhibits periodic quantization steps with characteristic dips, correlating with the order-disorder states of layers of atoms in the wire predicted by molecular dynamics simulations. The resistance R of wires as long as l ∼ 400 angstroms exhibits localization characteristics with In R(l) ∼ l2.