This article presents a brief review of the nanoscale free-electron model, which provides a continuum description of metal nanostructures. It is argued that surface and quantum-size effects are the two dominant factors in the energetics of metal nanowires, and that much of the phenomenology of nanowire stability and structural dynamics can be understood based on the interplay of these two competing factors. A linear stability analysis reveals that metal nanocylinders with certain magic conductance values G=1,3,6,12,17,23,34,42,51, 67,78,96,... times the conductance quantum are exceptionally stable. A nonlinear dynamical simulation of nanowire structural evolution reveals a universal equilibrium shape consisting of a magic cylinder suspended between unduloidal contacts. The lifetimes of these metastable structures are also computed.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Applied Physics A: Materials Science and Processing|
|State||Published - Dec 1 2005|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)