The Journal of Applied Physics announced that the paper “Electron mean free path in elemental metals” by Prof. Daniel Gall from the Materials Science and Engineering Department at RPI is one of the most read papers in 2016. The article is the result from extensive calculations on RPI’s supercomputer to determine the mean free path of the twenty most conductive metals. They show that some metals are more than twice as conductive as copper, in the limit of narrow wires. The results are very important for the semiconductor industry, as they indicate which metals are most promising for future interconnect wires. Currently used copper wires become too resistive to be used in future integrated circuits where the wires will be less than 10 nanometers wide. The article can be accessed from the journal web site or from Prof. Gall’s web site. This research is funded by SRC, MARCO, and DARPA through the FAME STARnet center.
Figure Caption: The calculated Fermi surfaces of copper, molybdenum, ruthenium, and rhodium. The colors indicate the Fermi velocity vf. Such quantitative data of the most energetic electrons in each metal are key to predict their conduction at the nanoscale.