Journal Article Impurity-limited resistance and phase interference of localized impurities under quasi-one dimensional nano-structures

Sano, Nobuyuki

118 ( 24 )  , p.244302 , 2015-12 , American Institute of Physics
The impurity-limited resistance and the effect of the phase interference among localized multiple impurities in the quasi-one dimensional (quasi-1D) nanowirestructures are systematically investigated under the framework of the scattering theory. We derive theoretical expressions of the impurity-limited resistance in the nanowire under the linear response regime from the Landauer formula and from the Boltzmann transport equation (BTE) with the relaxation time approximation. We show that the formula from the BTE exactly coincides with that from the Landauer approach with the weak-scattering limit when the energy spectrum of the in-coming electrons from the reservoirs is narrow and, thus, point out a possibility that the distinction of the impurity-limited resistances derived from the Landauer formula and that of the BTE could be made clear. The derived formulas are applied to the quasi-1D nanowiresdoped with multiple localized impurities with short-range scattering potential and the validity of various approximations on the resistance are discussed. It is shown that impurity scattering becomes so strong under the nanowirestructures that the weak-scattering limit breaks down in most cases. Thus, both phase interference and phase randomization simultaneously play a crucial role in determining the impurity-limited resistance even under the fully coherent framework. When the impurity separation along the wire axis direction is small, the constructive phase interference dominates and the resistance is much greater than the average resistance. As the separation becomes larger, however, it approaches the series resistance of the single-impurity resistance due to the phase randomization. Furthermore, under the uniform configuration of impurities, the space-average resistance of multiple impurities at room temperature is very close to the series resistance of the single-impurity resistance, and thus, each impurity could be regarded as an independent scattering center. The physical origin of this “self-averaging” under the fully coherent environments is attributed to the broadness of the energy spectrum of the in-coming electrons from the reservoirs.

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