Electron transport properties of sub-3-nm diameter copper nanowires

Sarah L.T. Jones, Alfonso Sanchez-Soares, John J. Plombon, Ananth P. Kaushik, Roger E. Nagle, James S. Clarke, James C. Greer

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Density functional theory and density functional tight binding are applied to model electron transport in copper nanowires of approximately 1- and 3-nm diameters with varying crystal orientation and surface termination. The copper nanowires studied are found to be metallic irrespective of diameter, crystal orientation, and/or surface termination. Electron transmission is highly dependent on crystal orientation and surface termination. Nanowires oriented along the [110] crystallographic axis consistently exhibit the highest electron transmission while surface oxidized nanowires show significantly reduced electron transmission compared to unterminated nanowires. Transmission per unit area is calculated in each case; for a given crystal orientation we find that this value decreases with diameter for unterminated nanowires but is largely unaffected by diameter in surface oxidized nanowires for the size regime considered. Transmission pathway plots show that transmission is larger at the surface of unterminated nanowires than inside the nanowire and that transmission at the nanowire surface is significantly reduced by surface oxidation. Finally, we present a simple model which explains the transport per unit area dependence on diameter based on transmission pathways results.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115413
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 11 Sept 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


Dive into the research topics of 'Electron transport properties of sub-3-nm diameter copper nanowires'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this