This title appears in the Scientific Report : 2019 

Atomic switches of metallic point contacts by plasmonic heating
Zhang, Weiqiang
Liu, Hongshuang / Lu, Jinsheng / Ni, Lifa / Liu, Haitao / Li, Qiang / Qiu, Min / Xu, Bingqian (Corresponding author) / Lee, Takhee (Corresponding author) / Zhao, Zhikai / Wang, Xianghui / Wang, Maoning / Wang, Tao / Offenhäusser, Andreas / Mayer, Dirk / Hwang, Wang-Taek / Xiang, Dong (Corresponding author)
Bioelektronik; ICS-8
Light, 8 (2019) 1, S. 34
London Nature Publishing Group 2019
10.1038/s41377-019-0144-z
30937165
Journal Article
Controlling Configuration-Based Phenomena
OpenAccess
OpenAccess
Please use the identifier: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41377-019-0144-z in citations.
Please use the identifier: http://hdl.handle.net/2128/22454 in citations.
Electronic switches with nanoscale dimensions satisfy an urgent demand for further device miniaturization. A recent heavily investigated approach for nanoswitches is the use of molecular junctions that employ photochromic molecules that toggle between two distinct isoforms. In contrast to the reports on this approach, we demonstrate that the conductance switch behavior can be realized with only a bare metallic contact without any molecules under light illumination. We demonstrate that the conductance of bare metallic quantum contacts can be reversibly switched over eight orders of magnitude, which substantially exceeds the performance of molecular switches. After the switch process, the gap size between two electrodes can be precisely adjusted with subangstrom accuracy by controlling the light intensity or polarization. Supported by simulations, we reveal a more general and straightforward mechanism for nanoswitching behavior, i.e., atomic switches can be realized by the expansion of nanoelectrodes due to plasmonic heating.