Dynamical coulomb blockade observed in nanosized electrical contacts

Christophe Brun*, Konrad H. Müller, I. Po Hong, François Patthey, Christian Flindt, Wolf Dieter Schneider

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Electrical contacts between nanoengineered systems are expected to constitute the basic building blocks of future nanoscale electronics. However, the accurate characterization and understanding of electrical contacts at the nanoscale is an experimentally challenging task. Here, we employ low-temperature scanning tunneling spectroscopy to investigate the conductance of individual nanocontacts formed between flat Pb islands and their supporting substrates. We observe a suppression of the differential tunnel conductance at small bias voltages due to dynamical Coulomb blockade effects. The differential conductance spectra allow us to determine the capacitances and resistances of the electrical contacts which depend systematically on the island-substrate contact area. Calculations based on the theory of environmentally assisted tunneling agree well with the measurements.

Original languageEnglish
Article number126802
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2012
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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