For a successful point-contact spectroscopy (PCS) measurement, metallic tips of proper shape and smoothness are essential to ensure the ballistic nature of a point-contact junction. Until recently, the fabrication of Au tips suitable for use in point-contact spectroscopy has remained more of an art involving a trial and error method rather than an automated scientific process. To address these issues, we have developed a technique with which one can prepare high quality Au tips reproducibly and systematically. It involves an electronic control of the driving voltages used for an electrochemical etching of a gold wire in a HCl-glycerol mixture or a HCl solution. We find that a stopping current, below which the circuit is set to shut off, is a single very important parameter to produce an Au tip of desired shape. We present detailed descriptions for a two-step etching process for Au tips and also test results from PCS measurements using them.
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