Quantum suppression of the Rayleigh instability in nanowires

F. Kassubek, C. A. Stafford, Hermann Grabert, Raymond E. Goldstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


A linear stability analysis of metallic nanowires is performed in the free-electron model using quantum chaos techniques. It is found that the classical instability of a long wire under surface tension can be completely suppressed by electronic shell effects, leading to stable cylindrical configurations whose electrical conductance is a magic number 1, 3, 5, 6, . . . times the quantum of conductance. Our results are quantitatively consistent with recent experiments with alkali metal nanowires.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-177
Number of pages11
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Mathematical Physics
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Applied Mathematics


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