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Comment: 6 pages, 4 figures
Transmission electron microscopy experiments have recently observed gold metal nanocylinders to thin down in a discrete manner: A kink--a step of order of one atomic layer--nucleates at one end and then moves along the wire, leaving a thinner cylinder behind it. In this paper, I show that a similar thinning process takes place within the nanoscale free-electron model, a structural and dynamical model of nanowires that treats the electron-confinement effects exactly while replacing the atomic structure by a continuum. Electron-shell effects, previously shown to be responsible for the stability of wires with magic radii, favor the formation of kinks connecting magic cylinders. A rich kink dynamics including interkink interactions ensues and is similar to that observed experimentally.
Comment: paper given at the 3rd international conference on "Computational modeling and simulation of materials", may 30-June 4, 2004
Comment: 4 pages, 1 figure, to be published in the proceedings of the XXXVI Rencontres de Moriond
Comment: 1 page, 1 figure, submitted to Phys. Rev. Lett
Comment: 7 pages, Latex, 3 figures, to be published in Phys.Rev.Lett
Comment: 8 pages, 6 figures with extended introduction and discussion; version accepted for publication by Phys. Rev. E
Comment: To appear in "Handbook of Nanophysics" (ed. K.Sattler) (Taylor & Francis 2010)
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