A linear stability analysis of metallic nanowires is performed in the free-electron model using quantum chaos techniques. It is found that the classical instability of a long wire under surface tension can be completely suppressed by electronic shell effects, leading to stable cylindrical configurations whose electrical conductance is a magic number 1, 3, 5, 6, . . . times the quantum of conductance. Our results are quantitatively consistent with recent experiments with alkali metal nanowires.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Mathematical Physics
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Applied Mathematics