Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 43, Issue 4, pp 1460–1470 | Cite as

ZnO low-dimensional structures: electrical properties measured inside a transmission electron microscope

  • Pedro M. F. J. CostaEmail author
  • Dmitri Golberg
  • Guozhen Shen
  • Masanori Mitome
  • Yoshio Bando


The electrical properties of wurtzite-type ZnO low-dimensional structures were analysed using a scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM) in situ holder for transmission electron microscopes (TEM). Compared to similar studies in the literature employing nanowires or nanobelts, our work illustrates that rather complex structures can be reliably analysed with this technique. Through controlled contact manipulations it was possible to alter the systems I–V characteristics and, in separate experiments, to follow their electrical response to cycles of induced stress. Analysis of the I–V curves showed higher than expected resistances which, according to the detailed TEM characterisation, could be correlated with the considerable density of defects present. These defects accumulate in specific areas of the complex structural arrays of ZnO and represent high resistance points responsible for structural failure, when the systems are subjected to extreme current flows.


Versus Curve Schottky Barrier Semiconductor Nanowires Head Contact Bias Regime 



We are grateful to Dr Yoichiro Uemura and Mr Keiji Kurashima for technical assistance. Dr Ujjal K. Gautam is thanked for useful discussions. Dr Oleg Lourie, from Nanofactory Instruments AB, is acknowledged for his continuous support. We are indebted to Prof. J. M. Zuo for the use of WebEMAPS (

Supplementary material

10853_2007_2307_MOESM1_ESM.dv (437.9 mb)
Supplementary material, approximately 228 KB.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pedro M. F. J. Costa
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dmitri Golberg
    • 1
  • Guozhen Shen
    • 1
  • Masanori Mitome
    • 1
  • Yoshio Bando
    • 1
  1. 1.Nanoscale Materials CenterNational Institute for Materials ScienceTsukubaJapan

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