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Charge-order fluctuations in one-dimensional silicides

Nature Materials volume 7, pages 539542 (2008) | Download Citation

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Abstract

Metallic nanowires are of great interest as interconnects in nanoelectronic devices1. They also represent important systems for understanding the complexity of electronic interactions and conductivity in one dimension2. We have fabricated exceptionally long and uniform YSi2 nanowires through self-assembly of yttrium atoms on Si(001). The wire widths are quantized in odd multiples of the Si substrate lattice constant. The thinnest wires represent one of the closest realizations of the isolated Peierls chain3, exhibiting van Hove type singularities in the one-dimensional density of states and charge-order fluctuations below 150 K. The structure of the wire was determined through a detailed comparison of scanning tunnelling microscopy data and first-principles calculations. Quantized width variations along the thinnest wires produce built-in Schottky junctions, the electronic properties of which are governed by the finite size and temperature scaling of the charge-ordering correlation. This illustrates how a collective phenomenon such as charge ordering might be exploited in nanoelectronic devices.

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Acknowledgements

We thank Z.Y. Zhang and G.M. Stocks for stimulating discussions. The experimental research was sponsored by NIH Grant No. R01HG002647, NSF Grant No. DMR0606485 and by the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which is sponsored by the Division of Scientific User Facilities, US Department of Energy. The computational research involved resources from the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, which is supported by the Office of Science of the US Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231, and from the National Center for Computational Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which is supported by the Office of Science of the US Department of Energy under Contract DE-AC05-00OR22725.

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  1. Department of Physics and Astronomy, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996-1200, USA

    • Changgan Zeng
    •  & Hanno H. Weitering
  2. Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at Microscale, University of Science and Technology of China Hefei, Anhui 230026, China

    • Changgan Zeng
  3. Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831, USA

    • P. R. C. Kent
    • , Tae-Hwan Kim
    •  & An-Ping Li
  4. Materials Science and Technology Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831, USA

    • Hanno H. Weitering

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Correspondence to Hanno H. Weitering.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/nmat2209