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On the electrical conductivity of metals with a rough surface

Deng, Hai-Yao ORCID: 2021. On the electrical conductivity of metals with a rough surface. Philosophical Magazine 101 (6) , pp. 729-752. 10.1080/14786435.2020.1862428

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We discuss surface roughness effects on the conduction of electrons in metals using both the quantal Kubo–Greenwood formalism and the semi-classical Fuchs–Sondheimer method. The main purpose here is to compare these methods and clarify a few subtle and widely misunderstood conceptual issues. One of such issues is concerned with the conditions under which the broken translation symmetry along a rough surface may be restored. This symmetry has often been presumed in existing work but not always with proper justifications. Another one relates to the physical meaning of a phenomenological parameter (denoted by p) intuitively introduced in the semi-classical theory. This parameter, called the specularity parameter or sometimes the Fuchs parameter, plays an important role in the experimental studies of surface roughness but has so far lacked a rigorous microscopic definition. The third issue arises as to the domain of validity for the electrical conductivity obtained in those methods. A misplacement of the domain may have resulted in erroneous analysis of surface effects in a variety of electrodynamic phenomena including surface plasma waves.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1478-6435
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 2 December 2020
Date of Acceptance: 16 November 2020
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 04:19

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