Validity criteria for Fermi's golden rule scattering rates applied to metallic nanowires
Faculty of Sciences. Physics
Journal of physics : condensed matter. - London
, 11 p.
University of Antwerp
Fermi's golden rule underpins the investigation of mobile carriers propagating through various solids, being a standard tool to calculate their scattering rates. As such, it provides a perturbative estimate under the implicit assumption that the effect of the interaction Hamiltonian which causes the scattering events is sufficiently small. To check the validity of this assumption, we present a general framework to derive simple validity criteria in order to assess whether the scattering rates can be trusted for the system under consideration, given its statistical properties such as average size, electron density, impurity density et cetera. We derive concrete validity criteria for metallic nanowires with conduction electrons populating a single parabolic band subjected to different elastic scattering mechanisms: impurities, grain boundaries and surface roughness.