Power dissipation in nanoscale conductors

Malachy Montgomery, Tchavdar Todorov, A.P. Sutton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)


A previous tight-binding model of power dissipation in a nanoscale conductor under an applied bias is extended to take account of the local atomic topology and the local electronic structure. The method is used to calculate the power dissipated at every atom in model nanoconductor geometries: a nanoscale constriction, a one-dimensional atomic chain between two electrodes with a resonant double barrier, and an irregular nanowire with sharp corners. The local power is compared with the local current density and the local density of states. A simple relation is found between the local power and the current density in quasiballistic geometries. A large enhancement in the power at special atoms is found in cases of resonant and anti-resonant transmission. Such systems may be expected to be particularly unstable against current-induced modifications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5377-5389
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Physics: Condensed Matter
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 03 Jun 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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