We investigated single electron tunneling (SET) behavior of dodecanethiol-coated Au nanoparticles of two different sizes (average sizes are 5 nm and 2 nm) using nanogap electrodes, which have a well-defined gap size, at various temperatures. The Coulomb staircases and the Coulomb gap near-zero bias voltage caused by the suppression of the tunneling electrons due to the Coulomb blockade effect were observed in the current-voltage (I-V) curves of both sizes of nanoparticles at a low temperature (10 K). At room temperature, the Coulomb gap was observed only in the I-V curve of the smaller nanoparticles. This result indicates that the charging energy of the smaller nanoparticles is enough to overcome the thermal energy at room temperature. This suggests that it is possible to operate the SET devices at room temperature using the smaller nanoparticles as a Coulomb island.
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