Mechanically Adjustable Single-Molecule Transistors and Stencil Mask Nanofabrication of High-Resolution Scanning Probes

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This dissertation presents the development of two original experimental techniques to probe nanoscale objects. The first one studies electronic transport in single organic molecule transistors in which the source-drain electrode spacing is mechanically adjustable. The second involves the fabrication of high-resolution scanning probe microscopy sensors using a stencil mask lithography technique.

We describe the fabrication of transistors in which a single organic molecule can be incorporated. The source and drain leads of these transistors are freely suspended above a flexible substrate, and their spacing can be adjusted by bending the substrate. We detail the technology developed to carry out measurements on these samples.

We study electronic transport in single C60 molecules at low temperature. We observe Coulomb blockaded transport and can resolve the discrete energy spectrum of the molecule. We are able to mechanically tune the spacing between the electrodes (over a range of 5 \AA) to modulate the lead-molecule coupling, and can electrostatically tune the energy levels on the molecule by up to 160 meV using a gate electrode. Initial progress in studying different transport regimes in other molecules is also discussed.

We present a lithographic process that allows the deposition of metal nanostructures with a resolution down to 10 nm directly onto atomic force microscope (AFM) tips. We show that multiple layers of lithography can be deposited and aligned. We fabricate high-resolution magnetic force microscopy (MFM) probes using this method and discuss progress to fabricate other scanning probe microscopy (SPM) sensors.

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2005-08-03T19:37:58Z
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electronic transport; single molecule; Coulomb blockade; AFM; probe microscopy; MFM
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dissertation or thesis
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