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Title: Calculating electronic tunnel currents in networks of disordered irregularly shaped nanoparticles by mapping networks to arrays of parallel nonlinear resistors

We have shown both theoretically and experimentally that tunnel currents in networks of disordered irregularly shaped nanoparticles (NPs) can be calculated by considering the networks as arrays of parallel nonlinear resistors. Each resistor is described by a one-dimensional or a two-dimensional array of equal size nanoparticles that the tunnel junction gaps between nanoparticles in each resistor is assumed to be equal. The number of tunnel junctions between two contact electrodes and the tunnel junction gaps between nanoparticles are found to be functions of Coulomb blockade energies. In addition, the tunnel barriers between nanoparticles were considered to be tilted at high voltages. Furthermore, the role of thermal expansion coefficient of the tunnel junction gaps on the tunnel current is taken into account. The model calculations fit very well to the experimental data of a network of disordered gold nanoparticles, a forest of multi-wall carbon nanotubes, and a network of few-layer graphene nanoplates over a wide temperature range (5-300 K) at low and high DC bias voltages (0.001 mV–50 V). Our investigations indicate, although electron cotunneling in networks of disordered irregularly shaped NPs may occur, non-Arrhenius behavior at low temperatures cannot be described by the cotunneling model due to size distribution inmore » the networks and irregular shape of nanoparticles. Non-Arrhenius behavior of the samples at zero bias voltage limit was attributed to the disorder in the samples. Unlike the electron cotunneling model, we found that the crossover from Arrhenius to non-Arrhenius behavior occurs at two temperatures, one at a high temperature and the other at a low temperature.« less
Authors:
 [1]
  1. CSIRO Manufacturing Flagship, P.O. Box 218, Lindfield NSW 2070 (Australia)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22305826
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Applied Physics; Journal Volume: 116; Journal Issue: 15; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Publisher:
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
77 NANOSCIENCE AND NANOTECHNOLOGY; CARBON NANOTUBES; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; CURRENTS; DISTRIBUTION; ELECTRIC POTENTIAL; ELECTRONS; GOLD; GRAPHENE; LAYERS; NANOPARTICLES; NONLINEAR PROBLEMS; RESISTORS; TEMPERATURE DEPENDENCE; THERMAL EXPANSION; TUNNEL EFFECT