Electrical properties of thin gold films on (3-Mercaptopropyl)trimethoxysilane (MPS) treated glass substrates

Michael Newton, Glen McHale, P. D. Hooper, M. R. Willis, S. D. Burt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Voltage controlled negative differential resistance (NDR), electron emission (EE) and electroluminescence (EL) have been extensively studied for electroformed thin gold films deposited on glass substrates. The physical stability and the electrical significance of gold islands within the small, 1 μm, gap are not understood. The effect of treating the glass substrate with (3-Mercaptopropyl)trimethoxysilane (MPS), an electrically insulating substance which acts as a molecular adhesive, prior to the deposition of the gold is reported. These modified devices demonstrate the classic NDR characteristics, but with some significant alterations. In particular, the electroform is a slower process and subsequently the NDR demonstrates a clear valley; a characteristic which is not usually observed. Conduction in the devices also persists at atmospheric pressure, although no current minimum is observed after the first cycle. In some cases a simple test of adhesion does not seem to affect the NDR, but in other cases the NDR is destroyed without apparently removing any gold. However, the NDR can then be re-established by depositing a small quantity of gold. We suggest that these results provide evidence that the presence and stability of small quantities of gold within the electroformed gap are essential to the conduction process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-318
Number of pages4
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1995


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