Transport in nanosystems

by David Sánchez,

Instituto de Física Interdisciplinar y Sistemas Complejos, IFISC (CSIC-UIB)
Campus Universitat de les Illes Balears, E-07122, Palma de Mallorca, Spain



Nanostructures excite our imagination. This is in part due to their tiny size but additionally due to the quantum laws governing their properties. Thus far, a tremendous progress has been made in creating, controlling and manipulating nanoconductors with the objective of engineering material functionalities without classical counterpart. In this course, we will discuss the general principles that determine charge, spin and energy dynamics in conducting nanostructures.

First, we will summarize the physics of transport phenomena in solid-state systems using semiclassical methods. When the size of the conductor becomes smaller than the phase coherence length, a fully quantum formalism is needed. To do so, we will present the scattering approach, which combines rigor, simplicity and beauty and is able to describe many quantum transport effects, mainly for independent electrons. The case of interacting particles will be discussed within a crash course of field theoretical methods applied to condensed matter (Green's functions). Finally, if time permits, we will introduce topological aspects in low-dimensional systems probed with transport experiments.