The shape of metallic constrictions of nanoscopic dimensions (necks) formed using a scanning tunneling microscope is shown to depend on the fabrication procedure. Submitting the neck to repeated plastic deformation cycles makes it possible to obtain long necks or nanowires. Point-contact spectroscopy results show that these long necks are quite crystalline, indicating that the repeated cycles of plastic deformation act as a “mechanical annealing” of the neck.This work was supported by the DGICYT under Contract Nos. MAT95-1542 and PB94-0382
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