Probing Electrical Transport in Nanomaterials: Conductivity of Individual Carbon Nanotubes

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Science  26 Apr 1996:
Vol. 272, Issue 5261, pp. 523-526
DOI: 10.1126/science.272.5261.523


A general approach has been developed to determine the conductivity of individual nanostructures while simultaneously recording their structure. Conventional lithography has been used to contact electrically single ends of nanomaterials, and a force microscope equipped with a conducting probe tip has been used to map simultaneously the structure and resistance of the portion of the material protruding from the macroscopic contact. Studies of individual carbon nanotubes demonstrate that the structurally most perfect nanotubes have resistivities an order of magnitude lower than those found previously and that defects in the nanotube structure cause substantial increases in the resistivity.