Fluctuational instabilities of alkali and noble metal nanowires

J. Bürki, C. A. Stafford, D. L. Stein

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


We introduce a continuum approach to studying the lifetimes of monovalent metal nanowires. By modelling the thermal fluctuations of cylindrical nanowires through the use of stochastic Ginzburg-Landau classical field theories, we construct a self-consistent approach to the fluctuation-induced "necking" of nanowires. Our theory provides quantitative estimates of the lifetimes for alkali metal nanowires in the conductance range 10 < G/G0 < 100 (where G0 = 2e2/h is the conductance quantum), and allows us to account for qualitative differences in the conductance histograms of alkali vs. noble metal nanowires.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-379
Number of pages13
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2004
EventNoise in Complex Systems and Stochastic Dynamics II - Maspalomas
Duration: May 26 2004May 28 2004


  • Lifetime
  • Nanowires
  • Thermal fluctuations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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