Device fabrication using Bi nanoclusters
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
Nanoclusters have special importance in nanotechnology because of their low dimensionality, which provides electronic, chemical, and magnetic properties that differ from those of the equivalent bulk materials. Suitably controllable self-assembly methods are required in order to incorporate nanoclusters into useful devices. The self-assembly method used in this study employs V-grooves as a template element for nanocluster device fabrication. The V-grooves are fabricated by optical lithography on SiO2/Si wafers and KOH wet etching. Bi clusters deposited on a V-groove form a self-assembled conducting wire. The clusters are produced using an inert gas aggregation source inside an ultra high vacuum compatible system. In order to characterise the assembly process, Bi clusters with different average sizes and velocities are deposited on V-grooves with different widths. The cluster bouncing was found to be the main process in forming the cluster wires. The bouncing angles were smaller than the incident angle, and they are dependent on the cluster size and velocity. For a certain bouncing angle, the wire width reflects the V-groove width because of the fixed bouncing angle. Nanocluster devices were fabricated by depositing the clusters on V-grooves with pre-formed Au/NiCr electrical contacts. The amount of the deposited material required to form an electrically conducting wire was found to be a function of the V-groove width and the wire length. The two point I(V) measurements in the voltage range between -1 and +1V showed linear characteristics for low resistance wires (kΩ), and non-linear characteristics for the high resistance ones (MΩ). The silicon substrate was used as a back gate. Applying a voltage to the gate was found to modify the electrical conduction of the cluster wire. The temperature dependence of the resistance of the nanocluster wires was studied in the temperature range of 4.2-473K, and all of the measured wires showed a negative temperature coefficient of resistance. These measurements allowed a detailed study of the conduction mechanisms through the cluster wires. The study showed that Bi clusters can be used for device fabrication. To size select the clusters prior to using them for the device fabrication, a high transmission mass filter is required. This transmission can be obtained using the von Issendorff and Palmer mass filter if it is operated using the optimum operation conditions. The mass filter consists of two pairs of parallel plates with horizontal openings in Plates 1 and 2, and it operates on the time of flight principle. During this project, the operation conditions of this mass filter were studied using both experiment and simulation. The study showed that the beam deflection angle is a critical factor in optimising the mass filter transmission efficiency. This angle is dependent on the accelerating voltage, ion mass, and the horizontal velocity of the ions. The optimum operation conditions for the mass filter were found and used to study the mass distribution of Pd ions produced by a magnetron sputtering source with variable cluster aggregation length.