Abstract— In this paper a novel approach for simulating electronic transport in nanoscale structures is introduced. We consider an open quantum system (the electrons of structure) accelerated by an external electromotive force and dissipating energy through inelastic scattering with a heat bath (phonons) acting on the electrons. We use periodic boundary conditions and employ Density Functional Theory to recast the many-particle problem in an effective single-particle mean-field problem. By explicitly treating the dissipation in the electrodes, the behavior of the potential is an outcome of our method, at variance with the scattering approaches based on the Landauer formalism. We study the self-consistent steady-state solution, analyzing the out-of-equilibrium electron distribution, the electrical characteristics, and the behavior of the self-consistent potential and the density of states of the system. We apply the method to the study of electronic transport in several molecular devices, consisting of small organic molecules or atomic wires sandwiched between gold surfaces. Here we also studied the effect of doping in molecular devices.
Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 3, Nanotechnology 2009: Biofuels, Renewable Energy, Coatings, Fluidics and Compact Modeling
Published: May 3, 2009
Pages: 328 - 330
Industry sector: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing
Topics: Informatics, Modeling & Simulation