Nano Research

Article Title

Promising electroplating solution for facile fabrication of Cu quantum point contacts


quantum point contact, electrochemical deposition, Cu nanowire, mechanically controllable break junction (MCBJ), conductance quantization


ABSTRACT In this article, we report on the fabrication and transport measurements of Cu quantum point contacts prepared by a novel, electrochemically assisted mechanically controllable break junction (EC-MCBJ) method. By employing photolithography and wet-etching processes, suspended electrode pairs were patterned and fabricated successfully on Si microchips. Rather than adopting an acid Cu electroplating solution, a novel alkaline electroplating solution was developed and utilized to establish Cu nanocontacts between electrode pairs. Typically, the widths of the as-fabricated Cu nanocontacts were found to be smaller than 18 nm. A large number of Cu quantum point contacts were then produced and characterized by a home-built MCBJ setup. In addition to the conventional histogram, where peaks tend to decrease in amplitude with increasing conductance, an anomalous type of conductance histogram, exhibiting different peak amplitudes, was observed. Through statistical analysis of the maximum allowable bending of the Si microchips, and theoretical calculations, we demonstrated that our alkaline Cu electroplating solution affords Cu nanocontacts that are compatible with subsequent MCBJ operations, which is essential for the fabrication of Cu quantum point contacts. As sophisticated e-beam lithography is not required, the EC-MCBJ method is fast, simple, and cost-effective. Moreover, it is likely to be suitable for the fabrication and characterization of quantum point contacts of various metals from their respective electroplating solutions.

Graphical Abstract


Tsinghua University Press