Single-electron transistors for nanotransport studies of individual nanoparticles in the presence of light

Project Title: Single-electron transistors for nanotransport studies of individual nanoparticles in the presence of light

Principle Investigator: Enrique del Barco

Illustration of a graphene-based single-electron transistor for optoelectronics at the single-particle level.

Project Description:
The goal of this project is to study the transport properties of individual noble-metal nanoparticles in response to optical irradiation by means of single-electron transport experiments. The objective is to study the coupling of single conduction electrons to collective electronic excitations (plasmons) of an individual metal nanoparticle upon application of optical irradiation. This project will advance knowledge on the optoelectronic properties of noble metal nanoparticles at the individual particle level, and explore its potential applications in nonoscale optoelectronics, which is rapidly becoming a separate research field of a high interdisciplinary nature.

Student Tasks:
The undergraduate student participating in this project will obtain experimental training in nanotransport, optoelectronics, and inorganic chemistry. In particular, the student will assist in:

  1. the development of graphene-based three-terminal single-electron transistor devices for the study of individual noble metal nanoparticles in the 1-10 nm size range;
  2. the synthesis of individual noble metal nanoparticles of different composition (Au,Ag,Cu,Pd…), sizes (1-10 nm), shapes (nanosphere, nanorods, nanoprisms) and surface functionalization with ligand groups of different composition (thiol or amino groups) and structure (length and volume);
  3. the preparation of the experimental setups to allow nanotransport measurements at low temperatures in the presence of optical irradiation.