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The electronic properties of arrays and isolated magnetite nanocrystals were studied using tunneling spectroscopy. Macroscopic tunnel junctions were used to study stacked arrays of the nanocrystals. The temperature dependent resistance measurements showed an abrupt increase of the resistance around 100 K, attributed to the Verwey metal-insulator transition, while the current-voltage characteristics exhibit a sharp transition from an insulator gap to a peak in the density of states near the Fermi energy. This conductance peak was sensitive to in-plane magnetic field showing large magnetoresistance. The tunneling spectra obtained on isolated particles using a Scanning Tunneling Microscope exhibit a gap-like structure below the transition temperature that gradually disappeared with increasing temperature, ending with a small peak structure around zero bias.
Optical spectroscopy and Scanning Tunneling Microscopy are used to study the size and shape dependence of the electronic states in CdSe quantum rods. The quantum rods were grown using colloidal chemistry synthesis methods, with good control over size and size distribution. Samples having average rod dimensions ranging from 10 to 60 nm in length and 3.5 to 7 nm in diameter, with aspect ratios varying between 3 to 12, were investigated. Both optical (at 10 K) and tunneling (at 4.2 K, on single rods) spectra show that the level structure depends primarily on the rod diameter and not on length. With increasing diameter, the band gap and the excited state level spacings shifted to the red. The level structure is assigned using a multi-band effective-mass model, showing relatively good agreement with experiment. We shall also discuss the effect of single electron charging on the tunneling spectra, possibly reflecting the quantum rod level degeneracy.
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