Self-aligned formation of sub 1 nm gaps utilizing electromigration during metal deposition

Yasuhisa Naitoh, Tatsuhiko Ohata, Ryuji Matsushita, Eri Okawa, Masayo Horikawa, Makiko Oyama, Masakazu Mukaida, Dong F. Wang, Manabu Kiguchi, Kazuhito Tsukagoshi, Takao Ishida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


We developed a procedure for the fabrication of sub 1 nm gap Au electrodes via electromigration. Self-aligned nanogap formation was achieved by applying a bias voltage, which causes electromigration during metal evaporation. We also demonstrated the application of this method for the formation of nanogaps as small as 1 nm in width, and we found that the gap size can be controlled by changing the magnitude of the applied voltage. On the basis of the electric conductance and surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) measurements, the fabricated gap size was estimated to be nearly equal to the molecular length of 1,4-benzenedithiol (BDT). Compared with existing electromigration methods, the new method provides two advantages: the process currents are clearly suppressed and parallel or large area production is possible. This simple method for the fabrication of a sub 1 nm gap electrode is useful for single-molecule-sized electronics and opens the door to future research on integrated sub 1 nm sized nanogap devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12869-12875
Number of pages7
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Dec 26
Externally publishedYes


  • Electromigration
  • Nanogap electrode
  • Nanogap switch effect
  • Self-aligned formation
  • Single-molecule electronics
  • Surface-enhanced Raman scattering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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