First principles transport study of molecular device

by Lei Zhang

Institution: University of Hong Kong
Degree: PhD
Year: 2012
Keywords: Molecular electronics.
Record ID: 1166665
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10722/192810


This thesis discusses DC and AC transport properties of molecular devices from first principles. For dc bias, based on the non-equilibrium Green’s function (NEGF) technique coupled with the density functional theory (DFT), the dc current density distribution of a molecular device Al-C60-Al is numerically investigated from first principles. Due to the presence of non-local pseudo-potential, the conventional definition of current density is not suitable to describe the correct current density profile inside the molecular device. By using the new definition of current density which includes the contribution due to the nonlocal potential, our numerical results show that the new definition of current density J(r) conserves the current. In addition, the current obtained from the current density calculated inside the molecular device equals to that calculated from the Landauer-Büttiker formula. When the external bias is time dependent, a theoretical formalism to study the time dependent transport behavior of molecular device from first principles is proposed based on the non-equilibrium Green’s function (NEGF) and time dependent density functional theory (TDDFT). For the purpose of numerical implementation on molecular devices, a computational tractable numerical scheme is discussed in detail. The transient current of two molecular devices Al-1,4-dimethylbenzene-Al and Al-Benenze-Al are numerically studied from first principles. To overcome the computational complexity due to the memory term, a fast algorithm has been employed to speed up the calculation and CPU time has been reduced from the scaling N^3to N^2 log(_2^2)(N) for the step like pulse, where N is the number of time step in the time evolution of Green’s function. published_or_final_version Physics doctoral Doctor of Philosophy