Correlating structure, conductance, and mechanics of silver atomic-scale contacts

Sriharsha V. Aradhya, Michael Frei, András Halbritter, Latha Venkataraman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Citations (Scopus)


We measure simultaneously force and conductance of Ag metal point-contacts under ambient conditions at room temperature. We observe the formation of contacts with a conductance close to 1 G0, the quantum of conductance, which can be attributed to a single-atom contact, similar to those formed by Au. We also find two additional conductance features at ∼0.4 G0 and ∼1.3 G0, which have been previously ascribed to contacts with oxygen contaminations. Here, using a conductance cross-correlation technique, we distinguish three different atomic-scale structural motifs and analyze their rupture forces and stiffness. Our results allow us to assign the ∼0.4 G0 conductance feature to an Ag-O-Ag contact and the ∼1.3 G0 feature to an Ag-Ag single-atom contact with an oxygen atom in parallel. Utilizing complementary information from force and conductance, we thus demonstrate the correlation of conductance with the structural evolution at the atomic scale.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3706-3712
Number of pages7
JournalACS Nano
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 23 2013


  • Ag point-contacts
  • atomic defects
  • bond rupture forces
  • break-junctions
  • electronic transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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