Electrically controllable metal-insulator-like transition in nanoparticle compacts

Chin Wei Wang, Chun Ming Wu, Sunil K. Karna, Chi Yen Li, Chien Kang Hsu, Carissa H.C. Li, Wen Hsien Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We report on the observations of tunneling transport in nanocompacts, where nanoparticles are packed into compact units using selective mass compositions and packing densities. An insulator-like thermal behavior in electron transport is seen in a very loosely packed 6-nm Ag nanocompact, whereas the densely packed 4.5-nm Au nanocompact displays a metal-like thermal behavior. Metal-insulator-like transitions, with the transition temperature can readily be tuned by controlling the bias voltage, are observed in the nanocompact consists of mixtures of 2.4 nm Ag and 4.8 nm core/shell Cu/Cu2O nanoparticles. The resistivity across the metal-insulator transition is found to change by more than four orders-of-magnitude. At low bias voltages or small excitation currents, the metal-insulator transition occurs at ~190 K. The transition temperature can be tuned to reach the ambient temperature when a higher bias voltage or a larger current is allowed. Possible mechanisms that may produce the observed transport characteristics in the nanocompacts are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3405-3412
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nanoparticle Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2011


  • Metal-insulator-like transition
  • Nanoparticle compact
  • Synthesis
  • Tunneling transport


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