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Carbon-fiber tips for scanning probe microscopes and molecular electronics experiments

We fabricate and characterize carbon-fiber tips for their use in combined scanning tunneling and force microscopy based on piezoelectric quartz tuning fork force sensors. An electrochemical fabrication procedure to etch the tips is used to yield reproducible sub-100-nm apex. We also study electron transport through single-molecule junctions formed by a single octanethiol molecule bonded by the thiol anchoring group to a gold electrode and linked to a carbon tip by the methyl group. We observe the presence of conductance plateaus during the stretching of the molecular bridge, which is the signature of the formation of a molecular junction.

Authors:   Gabino Rubio-Bollinger, Andres Castellanos-Gomez, Stefan Bilan, Linda A Zotti, Carlos R Arroyo, Nicolás Agraït, Juan Carlos Cuevas
Journal:   Nanoscale Research Letters
Year:   2012
DOI:   10.1186/1556-276X-7-254
Publication date:   02-Sep-2012
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