An-Ping Li and Shengyong Qin/ORNL
A one-dimensional quantum nanowire (seen in yellow on left) can turn from a conductor to an insulator with the addition of a single atomic defect, according to microscopic analysis from Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Bundles of nanowires (right) are generally more stable, leading to better conductance.
The research, published in the American Chemical Society’s Nano Letters, is the first correlated study that links electron movement to structural elements such as single point defects or impurities that are intentionally grown in the nanowires.
“When a conductor becomes so small, it will be very sensitive to atomic defects on the nanowire,” Li said. “If the conductor or the wire is big, electrons can always find a way to go around. But with such a small nanowire, electrons have no way to escape. When you put only a few defects on this nanowire, you can cut off the conductance and can convert a conductor into an insulator.”
Although single nanowires exhibited the metal-to-insulator transition, the ORNL team observed different behavior in bundles of nanowires constructed of two, three or more wires separated by only a few angstroms.
“If you put bundles together, the interwire coupling generally has a stabilizing effect on the structure which in turn leads to better conductance,” Li said.
The team also used theoretical first principles calculations to confirm and explain its experimental findings. Coauthors on the paper are ORNL’s Shengyong Qin, Tae-Hwan Kim and Arthur Baddorf; Yanning Zhang, Wenjie Ouyang and Ruqian Wu of the University of California, Irvine; Hanno Weitering of the University of Tennessee; and Chih-Kang Shih of the University of Texas at Austin.
The full paper, “Correlating Electronic Transport to Atomic Structures in Self-Assembled Quantum Wires,” is available here: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/nl204003s.
This work was supported by the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences at ORNL. CNMS is one of the five DOE Nanoscale Science Research Centers supported by the DOE Office of Science, premier national user facilities for interdisciplinary research at the nanoscale. Together the NSRCs comprise a suite of complementary facilities that provide researchers with state-of-the-art capabilities to fabricate, process, characterize and model nanoscale materials, and constitute the largest infrastructure investment of the National Nanotechnology Initiative. The NSRCs are located at DOE's Argonne, Brookhaven, Lawrence Berkeley, Oak Ridge and Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories. For more information about the DOE NSRCs, please visit http://science.energy.gov/bes/suf/user-facilities/nanoscale-science-research-centers/. Theoretical work at the University of California, Irvine was supported by DOE's Office of Science.
ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy's Office of Science. DOE's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit http://science.energy.gov.
Morgan McCorkle | Newswise Science News
Writing and deleting magnets with lasers
19.04.2018 | Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf
Ultrafast electron oscillation and dephasing monitored by attosecond light source
19.04.2018 | Yokohama National University
Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.
Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...
Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.
The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...
Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.
Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...
In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...
In an article that appears in the journal “Review of Modern Physics”, researchers at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (LAP) assess the current state of the field of ultrafast physics and consider its implications for future technologies.
Physicists can now control light in both time and space with hitherto unimagined precision. This is particularly true for the ability to generate ultrashort...
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
09.04.2018 | Event News
19.04.2018 | Materials Sciences
19.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
19.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy