Charge transport on the nanometer scale: Experimental and numerical investigations
This thesis will review my experimental efforts in measuring charge transport using on-chip and scanning probe techniques at the nanometer size scale, as well as numerical investigations into the charge transport of a single molecular C60 transistor [H. Park et al., Nature (London) 407, 57 (2000)]. Experimentally, I report on efforts to utilize on-chip and scanning probe electronic interfacing for chemical and biological systems for which we expect charge transport measurements to reveal interesting and technologically relevant information. Theoretically, I show how the microscopic force fields in nanostructures can influence their electronic dynamics using the example calculations of a molecular single electron transistor (SET) with a single mode, linearly coupled vibrational environment. These calculations predict a novel negative differential conductance (NDC) effect due to the Franck-Condon quantum dynamics of charged, "vibrating" SET islands in a mechanically soft potential well.