Potentiometry and repair of electrically stressed nanowires using atomic force microscopy

M. C. Hersam*, A. C F Hoole, S. J. O'Shea, M. E. Welland

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Using an atomic force microscope equipped with a conducting diamond tip, the surface potential on a current carrying gold nanowire was measured with microvolt potential sensitivity and nanometer spatial resolution. Potentiometry images illustrate the stages of failure of nanowires subjected to current stressing. During this failure process, a discontinuity in the potential gradient and an enhanced resistance region were observed at the failure site until a complete fracture was formed. By increasing the repulsive force and accurately positioning the tip, gold could be manipulated into the nanoscale fracture so that the electrical conductivity of the nanowire was regained.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)915-917
Number of pages3
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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