Letter | Published:

Nanomechanical oscillations in a single-C60 transistor

Nature volume 407, pages 5760 (07 September 2000) | Download Citation

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Abstract

The motion of electrons through quantum dots is strongly modified by single-electron charging and the quantization of energy levels1,2. Much effort has been directed towards extending studies of electron transport to chemical nanostructures, including molecules3,4,5,6,7,8, nanocrystals9,10,11,12,13 and nanotubes14,15,16,17. Here we report the fabrication of single-molecule transistors based on individual C60 molecules connected to gold electrodes. We perform transport measurements that provide evidence for a coupling between the centre-of-mass motion of the C60 molecules and single-electron hopping18—a conduction mechanism that has not been observed previously in quantum dot studies. The coupling is manifest as quantized nano-mechanical oscillations of the C60 molecule against the gold surface, with a frequency of about 1.2 THz. This value is in good agreement with a simple theoretical estimate based on van der Waals and electrostatic interactions between C 60 molecules and gold electrodes.

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Acknowledgements

We thank M. S. Fuhrer and N. S. Wingreen for discussions and advice. This work was supported by the US Department of Energy. E.A. was also partially supported by DARPA.

Author information

Author notes

    • Hongkun Park

    Present address: Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA.

Affiliations

  1. *Department of Chemistry and

    • Hongkun Park
    • , Andrew K. L. Lim
    •  & A. Paul Alivisatos
  2. †Department of Physics, University of California at Berkeley and

    • Jiwoong Park
    •  & Paul L. McEuen
  3. ‡Materials Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California 94720, USA

    • Hongkun Park
    • , Erik H. Anderson
    • , A. Paul Alivisatos
    •  & Paul L. McEuen

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Correspondence to Paul L. McEuen.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/35024031

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