Development of One-Dimensional Band Structure in Artificial Gold Chains

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Science  13 Sep 2002:
Vol. 297, Issue 5588, pp. 1853-1856
DOI: 10.1126/science.1075242

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The ability of a scanning tunneling microscope to manipulate single atoms is used to build well-defined gold chains on NiAl(110). The electronic properties of the one-dimensional chains are dominated by an unoccupied electron band, gradually developing from a single atomic orbital present in a gold atom. Spatially resolved conductance measurements along a 20-atom chain provide the dispersion relation, effective mass, and density of states of the free electron–like band. These experiments demonstrate a strategy for probing the interrelation between geometric structure, elemental composition, and electronic properties in metallic nanostructures.

  • * On leave of absence from Department of Physics, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853–2501, USA.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: wilsonho{at}

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