Quantized conductance without reservoirs: Method of the nonequilibrium statistical operator
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We introduce a generalized non-equilibrium statistical operator (NSO) to study a current-carrying system. The NSO is used to derive a set of quantum kinetic equations based on quantum mechanical balance equations. The quantum kinetic equations are solved self-consistently together with Poisson’s equation to solve a general transport problem. We show that these kinetic equations can be used to rederive the Landauer formula for the conductance of a quantum point contact, without any reference to reservoirs at different chemical potentials. Instead, energy dissipation is taken into account explicitly through the electron-phonon interaction. We find that both elastic and inelastic scattering are necessary to obtain the Landauer conductance.
KeywordsQuantized conductance Nonequilibrium statistical mechanics Transport theory
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