Palladium nanoclusters were prepared by magnetron sputtering and inert gas condensation technique and deposited between two gold electrodes. We have investigated the current-voltage characteristics at temperatures between 45 and 300 K. The conduction-voltage profile allows calculating the number of potential barriers, n electrons have to cross while conducting through a percolation path. n is found to increase with decreasing temperature. The observed temperature dependence of the conductance is Arrhenius-like above 140 K, with activation energy much smaller than the calculated Coulomb blockade energy. It suggests that some of the nanoclusters are fused together. At temperatures below 140 K the conductance-temperature data was fitted with Efros-Shklovskii model for conduction where variable range hopping is dominating the electron transport mechanism. The presence of variable range hopping may interpret the increase of n with decreasing temperature.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics