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03/18/2014

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# Our system consists of the device or scatterer coupled to (two or more) external reservoirs, or contacts, through leads.

The device is only deﬁned as ’the region through which the electrons cannot pass freely’, as opposed to the leads. In practice, it is much smaller than the leads. It is thus commonly assumed that the leads are semi-inﬁnite waveguides of appropriate dimension, with a separable potential of the form V (x, y, z) = Vx (x) + Vy (y) + Vz (z), (1) where Vx (x) = const. and Vtr (y, z) = Vy (y) + Vz (z) is the transverse conﬁning potential. Meanwhile, the scatterer is the only region with, in general, a non-trivial potential. See ﬁg. 1. Let us describe the scattering problem according to Supriyo Datta [1]. We are interested in transmission probabitily from one lead into another. This is given by the transmission function from lead p to ¯ ¯ lead q: Tq←p ≡ Tqp . Suppose we have a probability current jp (due to a plane wave) in the lead p incident on the scatterer, an outgoing (transmitted) current in the lead q and a reﬂected current in the lead p. The transmission function is then deﬁned as jq ¯ Tqp = . jp (2)

It can be obtained from the scattering matrix, often referred to as the S-matrix. We deﬁne Aq Sqp = (3) Ap where Ap and Aq denote the amplitudes in leads p and q, respectively. Thus, if the waves: incoming, transmitted and reﬂected, far from the scatterer, are plane waves, we have jp,q = vp,q |Ap,q |2 . All other forms of waves can be decomposed into series of plane waves. It is now convenient to deﬁne v q Aq Sqp = . (4) v p Ap As a result, ¯ Tqp = |Sqp |. (5) We may view Sqp as the response at the lead q due to a unit excitation in the lead p. In this work, we will apply the Green’s function formalism. 1

The Green’s function G(x, x’) can be seen as the response at any given space point x due to a unit excitation at point x’.

Suppose we have a response R related to the excitation (source) S by a diferential operator Dop : Dop R = S If Dop is reversible, ve can solve eq. (6) for R:
−1 R = Dop S ≡ GS,

(6)

(7)

which deﬁnes the Green’s function:
−1 G := Dop .

(8)

The problem of electronic motion can be formulated using the “inhomogenous Schrödinger’s equation” [E − Hop ]Ψ = S, (9)

where E is the particle’s energy; Hop the Hamiltonian operator of the system; Ψ the wavefunction of the particle; S the excitation term (which belongs to the same Hilbert space as Ψ does). According to our prescription, G = [E − Hop ]−1 . (10)

The inverse of a diﬀerential operator is not unique until we specify the boundary conditions. In particular, this is the case of the Green’s function, in which two popular choices lead to retarded and advanced Green’s functions. Consider a simple example of a one-dimensional inﬁnite wire with constant potential V (x) ≡ V . Eq. (10) takes the form G= E−V + 2 ∂2 2m ∂x2
2 −1

.

In other words, the Green’s function is a solution to E − V (x) + ∂2 G(x, x ) = δ(x − x). 2m ∂x2
2

(11)

In comparison, the Schrödinger equation E − V (x) + ∂2 G(x, x ) = 0. 2m ∂x2
2

only lacks the source term on the right hand side. As stated above, G(x, x ) is ’the wavefunction arising at x due to a unit excitation at x ’. In this case, we expect to see two plane waves propagating outwards from the source located at x . G(x, x ) = where k= 2m(E − V )
2

A− exp(ik(x − x )), x < x A+ exp(ik(x − x )), x > x

(12)

.

(13)

3

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