Atomic-scale metal films exhibit intriguing size-dependent film stability, electrical conductivity, superconductivity, and chemical reactivity. With advancing methods for preparing ultra-thin and atomically smooth metal films, clear evidences of the quantum size effect have been experimentally collected in the past two decades. However, with the problems of small-area fabrication, film oxidation in air, and highly-sensitive interfaces between the metal, substrate, and capping layer, the uses of the quantized metallic films for further ex-situ investigations and applications have been seriously limited. To this end, we develop a large-area fabrication method for continuous atomic-scale aluminum film. The self-limited oxidation of aluminum protects and quantizes the metallic film and enables ex-situ characterizations and device processing in air. Structure analysis and electrical measurements on the prepared films imply the quantum size effect in the atomic-scale aluminum film. Our work opens the way for further physics studies and device applications using the quantized electronic states in metals.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)