Probing the orbital origin of conductance oscillations in atomic chains

Ran Vardimon, Tamar Yelin, Marina Klionsky, Soumyajit Sarkar, Ariel Biller, Leeor Kronik, Oren Tal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigate periodical oscillations in the conductance of suspended Au and Pt atomic chains during elongation under mechanical stress. Analysis of conductance and shot noise measurements reveals that the oscillations are mainly related to variations in a specific conduction channel as the chain undergoes transitions between zigzag and linear atomic configurations. The calculated local electronic structure shows that the oscillations originate from varying degrees of hybridization between the atomic orbitals along the chain as a function of the zigzag angle. These variations are highly dependent on the directionally and symmetry of the relevant orbitals, in agreement with the order-of-magnitude difference between the Pt and Au oscillation amplitudes observed in experiment. Our results demonstrate that the sensitivity of conductance to structural variations can be controlled by designing atomic-scale conductors in view of the directional interactions between atomic orbitals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2988-2993
Number of pages6
JournalNano Letters
Issue number6
StatePublished - 11 Jun 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Bioengineering
  • General Materials Science


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