Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology B: Microelectronics and Nanometer Structures

Electrical testing of gold nanostructures by conducting atomic force microscopy

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A reliable electrical method for testing nanoscale wire arrays in ambient conditions is demonstrated on gold nanostructures. Using conducting probe atomic force microscopy, the method requires the formation of highly reproducible electric contacts between the conducting tip and the sample. The basic mechanical and electrical criteria of nanocontacts are discussed and a force-controlled protocol for the formation of low-ohmic contacts is derived. The approach provides high spatial resolution, making it a powerful tool for lithography developments and on-chip monitoring of nanoscale circuits.