We report a simple approach to the formation of unbroken metal nanowires with widths as narrow as 5 nm and lengths some tens of thousands of nanometers long. A signature of weak antilocalization was found in the temperature dependence of the resistance of nanowires of Au fabricated using this approach. Measurements of the resistance versus temperature in high and zero applied magnetic field were used to extract the temperature dependence of the phase coherence time τ (T), which was found to be in fair agreement with theory, especially for multiple-wire samples. This technique of wire formation may be generalized to permit the growth of even narrower metal wires.
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The authors would like to thank Leonid Glazman for helpful discussions. This work was supported by the U. S. Department of Energy under Grant No. DE-FG02-02ER46004.