Molecular detection using metallic nanowires with quantized conductance

Document Type



Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor's Name

Tao Nongjian

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Darici Yesim

Third Advisor's Name

Wang Xueven

Fourth Advisor's Name

Grover L. Larkins, Jr.

Date of Defense



This thesis studies the adsorption of molecules with different binding strengths onto copper nanowires with prestabilized conductance values fabricated by an electrochemical method. Since the diameters of these wires are comparable to the wavelength of conduction electrons the conductance of the nanowires is quantized, and the adsorption of even a few molecules onto atomically thin wires changes the conductance from integer values to fractional ones. These changes are proportional to the binding strength of the adsorbed molecules. The decrease in conductance is hypothesized to be caused by the scattering of the conduction electrons by the adsorbed molecules. The sensitivity of molecular adsorption-induced conductance change can be used for the development of a chemical sensor. The stabilized copper nanowires obtained in this thesis may also be used for other purposes, such as interconnecting conductors between nanodevices and digital switches in functional nanoelectronic circuitry.



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