Effect of phase-breaking events on electron transport in mesoscopic and nanodevices



Existing ballistic models for electron transport in mesoscopic and nanoscale systems break down as the size of the device becomes longer than the phase coherence length of electrons in the system. Krstic et al. experimentally observed that the current in single-wall carbon nanotube systems can be regarded as a combination of a coherent part and a noncoherent part. In this article, we discuss the use of Büttiker phase-breaking technique to address partially coherent electron transport, generalize that to a multichannel problem, and then study the effect of phase-breaking events on the electron transport in two-terminal graphene nanoribbon devices. We also investigate the difference between the pure-phase randomization and phase/momentum randomization boundary conditions. While momentum randomization adds an extra resistance caused by backward scattering, pure-phase randomization smooths the conductance oscillations because of interference. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Quantum Chem, 2008