• Design of a Mechanically Controllable Break Junction to Measure Quantum Conductance of Gold

      Monti, Oliver; Saaty, Kara; Armstrong, Neal; Heien, Michael (The University of Arizona., 2013)
      A mechanically controllable break junction setup was designed, constructed and characterized. The mechanically controllable break junction technique is commonly used for measurement of quantum conductance of metals and single molecule conductance. The technique relies on resistance to external vibrations disrupting the atomic or molecular junctions formed and should be in a low electronic noise environment. Through a series of experiments the setup was found to have high mechanical stability and low electronic noise. The quantum conductance of gold was measured repeatedly and a histogram was plotted showing good agreement with the literature. The results indicate that with modifications, the setup can be used to measure the conductance of single molecule junctions and single molecule thermoelectric properties.