Open Access Nano Express

Shell structures in aluminum nanocontacts at elevated temperatures

José Luis Costa-Krämer1*, Natalia León2, Carlo Guerrero3 and Marisel Díaz3

Author Affiliations

1 IMM-Instituto de Microelectrónica de Madrid (CNM-CSIC), Isaac Newton 8, PTM, Tres Cantos, Madrid, E-28760, Spain

2 Departamento de Mecánica, Universidad Simón Bolívar, Apartado Postal 89000, Caracas, 1080-A, Venezuela

3 Centro de Física, Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Científicas (IVIC), Apartado Postal 20632, Caracas, 1020A, Venezuela

For all author emails, please log on.

Nanoscale Research Letters 2012, 7:115  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-115

Published: 10 February 2012

Abstract

Aluminum nanocontact conductance histograms are studied experimentally from room temperature up to near the bulk melting point. The dominant stable configurations for this metal show a very early crossover from shell structures at low wire diameters to ionic subshell structures at larger diameters. At these larger radii, the favorable structures are temperature-independent and consistent with those expected for ionic subshell (faceted) formations in face-centered cubic geometries. When approaching the bulk melting temperature, these local stability structures become less pronounced as shown by the vanishing conductance histogram peak structure.