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Non-universal behavior of the parity effect in monovalent atomic wires



We propose a mixed analytical-ab-initio method for the accurate calculation of the conductance in monovalent atomic wires. The method relies on the most general formula for ballistic transport through a monovalent wire, whose parameters can be determined from first-principles calculations. Our central result is the demonstration of the highly non-universal behavior of the conductance, which depends on the fine details of the contacts to the leads. We are therefore able to reconcile a large number of the apparently contradictory results that have recently appeared in the literature. PACS numbers: 73.23.-b,73.63.Rt,73.40.Cg In the last two decades transport properties of atomic contacts have been the subject of intensive research (for overviews see Ruitenbeek [1] and Agraït, Yeyati and Ruitenbeek [2]). First experimental evidences of the formation of golden atomic chains have been reported by Yanson et al. and Ohnishi et al. [3]. Experiments on chains of Au, Pt and Ir atoms [4] exhibit electrical conductance oscillations as a function of the wire length and similar oscillations as a function of bias voltage and electrode separation [5, 6]. Rodrigues et al. [7] investigated the energetically preferred orientation of the crystal planes of the wire by the application of highresolution transmission electron microscopy. Their results show a strong correlation between the atomic arrangement and the conductance. The above experiments were stimulated by early theoretical predictions of conductance quantization [8] and conductance oscillations [9, 10]. The latter issue generated a sequence of theoretical papers using a variety of technique

Year: 2005
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