Non-conservative forces in bulk systems

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Title: Non-conservative forces in bulk systems
Authors: Todorov, TN
Cunningham, B
Dundas, D
Horsfield, AP
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: The ability of electrons and phonons in solids to equilibrate is fundamental to the thermodynamic and transport properties of these systems. Nonetheless in mesoscopic systems sufficiently high current densities can lead to situations where the phonon subsystem can no longer reach a steady state. In previous work this phenomenon was connected with the demonstration that interatomic forces under current are non- conservative, with the ability to do net work around closed paths in the nuclear subspace. Here we consider these effects in bulk systems. We arrive at a critical current density beyond which current flow results in the uncompensated stimulated emission of a blast of forward-travelling phonons. The resultant atomic motion is illustrated with model simulations of long atomic wires under current. While the critical current density for these effects is very high compared with those in electroplasticity phenomena, it is hoped that the paper will stimulate further research into non-conservative dynamics in extended conductors and the possible relevance of the effect to electropulsing.
Issue Date: 7-Mar-2017
Date of Acceptance: 10-Feb-2017
ISSN: 1316-2012
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Start Page: 1442
End Page: 1446
Journal / Book Title: Materials Science and Technology
Volume: 33
Issue: 12
Copyright Statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Materials Science and Technology on 7 Mar 2017, available online at:
Keywords: Science & Technology
Materials Science, Multidisciplinary
Metallurgy & Metallurgical Engineering
Materials Science
General formulation of transport theory
electronic transport in mesoscopic systems
quantum wires
current-induced forces
Publication Status: Published
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Engineering
Faculty of Natural Sciences

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