A nanotechnological approach is applied to measurements of the electric field dependence of resistance under a high electric field while in low voltage. With this technique, the conduction mechanism on a mesoscopic scale is explored in a single, nonagglomerated nanofiber. Polyaniline nanofibers are prepared by vigorous mixing of aniline and oxidation agent ammonium persulfate in acid solution. They exhibit a uniform nanoscale morphology rather than agglomeration as that produced via conventional chemical oxidation. The as-synthesized polyaniline nanofibers are doped (dedoped) with a HCl acid (NH3 base), and their temperature behaviors of resistances follow an exponential function with an exponent of T-1/2. To measure the conduction mechanism in a single nanofiber, the dielectrophoresis technique is implemented to position nanofibers on top of two electrodes with a nanogap of 100-600 nm, patterned by electron-beam lithography. After the devices are irradiated by electron beam to reduce contact resistances, their temperature behaviors and electric field dependences are unveiled. The experimental results agree well with the theoretical model of charging energy limited tunneling. Other theoretical models such as Efros-Shklovskii and Mott's one-dimensional hopping conduction are excluded after comparisons and arguments. Through fitting, the size of the conductive grain, separation distance between two grains, and charging energy per grain in a single polyaniline nanofiber are estimated to be about 4.9 nm, 2.8 nm, and 78 meV, respectively. The nanotechnological approach, where the nanogap and the dielectrophoresis technique are used for single nanofiber device fabrication, is applied for determination of mesoscopic charge transport in a polyaniline conducting polymer.
- conducting polymer
- hopping conduction
- one-dimensional nanostructures