First-principles approach to electrical transport in atomic-scale nanostructures

J. J. Palacios, A. J. Pérez-Jiménez, E. Louis, E. SanFabián, J. A. Vergés
2002 Physical Review B (Condensed Matter)  
We present a first-principles numerical implementation of Landauer formalism for electrical transport in nanostructures characterized down to the atomic level. The novelty and interest of our method lies essentially on two facts. First of all, it makes use of the versatile Gaussian98 code, which is widely used within the quantum chemistry community. Secondly, it incorporates the semi-infinite electrodes in a very generic and efficient way by means of Bethe lattices. We name this method the
more » ... ian Embedded Cluster Method (GECM). In order to make contact with other proposed implementations, we illustrate our technique by calculating the conductance in some well-studied systems such as metallic (Al and Au) nanocontacts and C-atom chains connected to metallic (Al and Au) electrodes. In the case of Al nanocontacts the conductance turns out to be quite dependent on the detailed atomic arrangement. On the contrary, the conductance in Au nanocontacts presents quite universal features. In the case of C chains, where the self-consistency guarantees the local charge transfer and the correct alignment of the molecular and electrode levels, we find that the conductance oscillates with the number of atoms in the chain regardless of the type of electrode. However, for short chains and Al electrodes the even-odd periodicity is reversed at equilibrium bond distances.
doi:10.1103/physrevb.66.035322 fatcat:zriv3npunjetvest2py2u5jqsq