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We have developed a fast, yet highly reproducible method to fabricate metallic electrodes with nanometer separation using electromigration (EM). We employ four-terminal instead of two-terminal devices in combination with an analog feedback to maintain the voltage $U$ over the junction constant. After the initialization phase ($U < 0.2V), during which the temperature $T$ increases by 80-150 degs C, EM sets in shrinking the wire locally. This quickly leads to a transition from the diffusive to a quasi-ballistic regime ($0.2V < U < 0.6V). At the end of this second regime, a gap forms (U > 0.6V). Remarkably, controlled electromigration is still possible in the quasi-ballistic regime.
We observe very small gate-voltage shifts in the transfer characteristic of as-prepared graphene field-effect transistors (GFETs) when the pH of the buffer is changed. This observation is in strong contrast to Si-based ion-sensitive FETs. The low gate-shift of a GFET can be further reduced if the graphene surface is covered with a hydrophobic fluorobenzene layer. If a thin Al-oxide layer is applied instead, the opposite happens. This suggests that clean graphene does not sense the chemical potential of protons. A GFET can therefore be used as a reference electrode in an aqueous electrolyte. Our finding sheds light on the large variety of pH-induced gate shifts that have been published for GFETs in the recent literature.
Redox-active dithiolated tetrathiafulvalene derivatives (TTFdT) were inserted in two-dimensional nanoparticle arrays to build interlinked networks of molecular junctions. Upon oxidation of the TTFdT to the dication state, we observed a conductance increase of the networks by up to 1 order of magnitude. Successive oxidation and reduction cycles demonstrated a clear switching behavior of the molecular junction conductance. These results show the potential of interlinked nanoparticle arrays as chemical sensors.
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