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Three elemental contact modes of the “electrical hinges” realized by connecting two CNTs via a fullerene. In contact mode I, the CNTs can change their relative angle by tilt and rotation. In contact mode II, the fullerene moves along the lateral direction. The orange and blue points indicate the position change of the fullerene. In contact mode III, the fullerene can rotate around the CNTs. In all modes, the connections are mechanically “soft” and the electrical connectivity is preserved. Note the CNTs and fullerene could be multilayer structures, as the situation observed in the current experiments.
TEM images of the three contact modes of the CNTs connected via a fullerene. The arrows show the different fullerene locations during electrical solicitation. In mode I (Ia and Ib), the CNT undergoes some displacement while the fullerene position remains almost unchanged. In mode II (IIa and IIb), the fullerene moves in the direction perpendicular to the image. In mode III (IIIa and IIIb), the fullerene moves from one side to the other. Bar = 10 nm.
The selected positively and negatively biased I–V curves of the CNT–fullerene–CNT contact. The labels correspond to the different contact geometries shown in Figure 2.
Determination of the contact resistance. (a) and (b) HRTEM images of the CNT–fullerene–CNT structure under two contact configuration. The inset atom structures show the corresponding contact geometry. Bar = 5 nm. (c) Corresponding I–V curves of the CNT–fullerene–CNT structures in (a) and (b), respectively. The insets show the contact structure and equivalent electrical circuit under the two contact geometries, respectively. Rcf denotes the contact resistance between the fullerene and CNT, Rcc represents that between the two CNTs, and Rext indicates the resistance relative to the rest of the circuit.
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