Quantum Transport in Metallic Nanocontacts

It is shown that experimental conductance histograms in monovalent metals such as gold, copper, and silver can be explained quantitatively by a model of quantum-confined electrons with disorder. Unlike previous theoretical approaches, averages are taken over an ensemble of impurity configurations AND contact shapes. The ``series resistance'' which is typically subtracted from experimental resistances to obtain conductance quantization is shown to be an intrinsic effect due to coherent backscattering from disorder. Importantly, our model also quantitatively reproduces recent shot noise data for atomic-size gold contacts.


  1. J. Bürki, C. A. Stafford, X. Zotos, and D. Baeriswyl,
    Cohesion and conductance of disordered metallic point contacts,
    Phys. Rev. B 60, 5000 (1999); Erratum , Phys. Rev. B 62, 2956 (2000).

  2. J. Bürki and C. A. Stafford,
    Comment on ``Quantum Suppression of Shot Noise in Atom-Size Metallic Contacts,''
    Phys. Rev. Lett. 83, 3342 (1999).

  3. J. Bürki and C. A. Stafford,
    Statistics of quantum transport in metal nanowires with surface disorder,
    in ``Electronic Correlations: from meso- to nano-physics,'' T. Martin, G. Montambaux, and J. Tran Thanh Van eds.
    (EDP Sciences, Les Ulis, France 2001), pp. 27-30.
Links Publications People Teaching Research University of Arizona Home Department of Physics