J. Phys. IV France
Volume 131, December 2005
Page(s) 221 - 222
Publié en ligne 18 janvier 2006
International Workshop on Electronic Crystals
S. Brazovskii, P. Monceau and N. Kirova
J. Phys. IV France 131 (2005) 221-222

DOI: 10.1051/jp4:2005131054

Electrical transport through constrictions in the charge-density wave conductor NbSe3

K. O'Neill1, E. Slot1, R. Thorne2 and H. van der Zant1

1  Kavli Institute of Nanoscience Delft, Delft University of Technology, Lorentzweg 1, 2628CJ Delft, The Netherlands
2  Laboratory of Atomic and Solid State Physics, Clark Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853-2501

We have investigated the electrical transport properties of insulating and metallic constrictions of dimensions 100 nm-10 $\mu$m in the charge-density wave (CDW) conductor NbSe3. The constrictions are made in a variety of ways: focused ion beam, reactive ion etching through a resist mask, and in a mechanically-controlled break junction configuration. We find that the behaviour of the junctions is independent of the fabrication method, and, depending on the size of the constriction, that the low-temperature behaviour of the constrictions is metallic or insulating. At 4.2 K we observe peaks in the differential conductance near 100 mV and 200 mV, which vanish as the temperature is increased above the Peierls temperatures 59 K and 145 K respectively. The data is consistent with the interpretation that there are two different regimes, depending on the size of the constriction, demonstrating either tunnelling behaviour, due to CDW-insulator-CDW junctions, or metallic behaviour, due to two normal metal-CDW junctions in series.

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