Interplay of Rayleigh and Peierls instabilities in metallic nanowires.

A quantum-mechanical stability analysis of metallic nanowires within the free-electron model is presented. The stability is determined by an interplay of electron-shell effects, the Rayleigh instability due to surface tension, and the Peierls instability. Although the latter effect limits the maximum length also for wires with "magic radii," it is found… CONTINUE READING