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The influence of surface roughness on electrical conductance of thin Cu films: An ab initio study

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4 Author(s)
Timoshevskii, V. ; Department of Physics, McGill University, 3600 rue University, Montréal, Québec, H3A 2T8 Canada ; Ke, Youqi ; Guo, Hong ; Gall, D.

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First-principles calculations show that atomic-scale surface roughness dramatically affects the electrical conductivity of thin films. Atomic clusters, 1–3 atoms high, deposited on the flat Cu(001) surface of an 11 monolayer thick film lead to a 30-40% reduction of its conductance. This is attributed to the destruction of isotropic Fermi surface sheets. We provide a simple parametrized formula, correlating the size of the surface added structures to the film conductance, and also demonstrate that Ta and Al surface monolayers on rough Cu surfaces cause a conductance decrease and increase, respectively.

Published in:

Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:103 ,  Issue: 11 )

Date of Publication:

Jun 2008

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