Approach to steady-state transport in nanoscale conductors

  • Bushong N
  • Sai N
  • Di Ventra M
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Abstract

We show, using a tight-binding model and time-dependent density-functional theory, that a quasi-steady-state current can be established dynamically in a finite nanoscale junction without any inelastic effects. This is simply due to the geometrical constriction experienced by the electron wave packets as they propagate through the junction. We also show that in this closed nonequilibrium system two local electron occupation functions can be defined on each side of the nanojunction which approach Fermi distributions with increasing number of atoms in the electrodes. The resultant conductance and current-voltage characteristics at quasi-steady state are in agreement with those calculated within the static scattering approach.

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