Date of Award

Fall 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Kim, Kyuil

Second Advisor

Fournelle, Raymond A.

Third Advisor

Josse, Fabien J.


A nanogap device as a platform for nanoscale electronic devices is presented. Integrated nanostructures on the platform have been used to functionalize the nanogap for biosensor and molecular electronics. Nanogap devices have great potential as a tool for investigating physical phenomena at the nanoscale in nanotechnology. In this dissertation, a laterally self-aligned nanogap device is presented and its feasibility is demonstrated with a nano ZnO dot light emitting diode (LED) and the growth of a metallic sharp tip forming a subnanometer gap suitable for single molecule attachment.

For realizing a nanoscale device, a resolution of patterning is critical, and many studies have been performed to overcome this limitation. The creation of a sub nanoscale device is still a challenge. To surmount the challenge, novel processes including double layer etch mask and crystallographic axis alignment have been developed. The processes provide an effective way for making a suspended nanogap device consisting of two self-aligned sharp tips with conventional lithography and 3-D micromachining using anisotropic wet chemical Si etching. As conventional lithography is employed, the nanogap device is fabricated in a wafer scale and the processes assure the productivity and the repeatability. The anisotropic Si etching determines a final size of the nanogap, which is independent of the critical dimension of the lithography used.

A nanoscale light emitting device is investigated. A nano ZnO dot is directly integrated on a silicon nanogap device by Zn thermal oxidation followed by Ni and Zn blanket evaporation instead of complex and time consuming processes for integrating nanostructure. The electrical properties of the fabricated LED device are analyzed for its current-voltage characteristic and metal-semiconductor-metal model. Furthermore, the electroluminescence spectrum of the emitted light is measured with a monochromator implemented with a CCD camera to understand the optical properties. The atomically sharp metallic tips are grown by metal ion migration induced by high electric field across a nanogap. To investigate the growth mechanism, in-situ TEM is conducted and the growing is monitored. The grown dendrite nanostructures show less than 1nm curvature of radius. These nanostructures may be compatible for studying the electrical properties of single molecule.