Low temperature scanning tunneling microscopy studies of granular metal films

E. Bar-Sadeh*, Y. Goldstein, M. Wolovelsky, D. Porath, C. Zhang, H. Deng, B. Abeles, O. Millo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Cryogenic scanning tunneling microscopy is used to study local electrical transport properties of thin granular Au/Al2O3 films in the vicinity of the percolation threshold. The current-voltage characteristics are found to vary dramatically from one tip position to another over distances of the order of a few nanometers. The characteristics often exhibit single electron tunneling effects such as the Coulomb blockade and the Coulomb staircase. This behavior is similar to that observed for tunneling into a single isolated nanometer size metallic particle which was explained in terms of a double-barrier tunnel junction model. Some of the characteristics show, however, novel Coulomb-staircase structures having unusual variations in step widths and heights due to complex tunneling paths. A triple-barrier tunnel junction model, where the electron tunnels through two metallic particles along its path, accounts quantitatively for the experimental results.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1084-1088
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Vacuum Science and Technology B: Microelectronics and Nanometer Structures
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1995
EventProceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Nanometer-Scale Science and Technology - Denver, CO, USA
Duration: 24 Oct 199428 Oct 1994


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