This review discusses one of most topical and promising areas in present-day physics, which is the study of the physical properties of metallic few-atom contacts.
They are attractive due to both the promise of their practical application and the possibility to use them for testing various theoretical models and approaches by comparing theoretical results with experimental data.
Experimental conditions under which metal nanowires form on the surfaces of metals and semiconductors are described.
Particular attention is paid to theoretical models describing the growth scenario of nanowires on various surfaces.
The analysis of the main experimentally determined factors affecting the distribution of the length of nanowires is given.
It is shown that distribution of nanowire lengths on the surface of metals and semiconductors depends not only on external parameters, but also on the duration of their formation.
The review considers the magnetic properties of atomic chains of finite length located on the surfaces of metal and semiconductor crystals.
A correlation between the structural, electronic, and magnetic properties of nanowires is shown.
The influence of nanowires on the electronic properties of the surfaces on which they are formed is established.
The nature of edge states is explained.
The effect of the nanowire length on the electronic states of its atoms is shown.
The Rashba effect for metal nanowires on the surface of semiconductors is discussed, and an analysis of the impact of the exchange energy between atoms and magnetic anisotropy energy on the macroscopic characteristics of nanowires, such as the critical temperature and the time of spontaneous magnetization reversal, is presented.
Keywords: atomic wires, metal chains, quantum conductivity, Rushba effect, nanomagnetism, spintronics, edge states, epitaxial growth PACS:68.65.−k, 68.55.A, 75.75.−c, 61.46.−w, 05.10.Ln, 73.63.Rt (all) DOI:10.3367/UFNe.2020.06.038789 Citation: Syromyatnikov A G, Kolesnikov S V, Saletsky A M, Klavsyuk A L "Formation and properties of metallic atomic chains and wires" Phys. Usp., accepted
Received: 10th, May 2020, revised: 11th, June 2020, accepted: 13th, June 2020