First-principles Calculations of Hot-Electron Lifetimes in Metals

Physical Review B 61, 13484 - 13492 (2000)

First-principles Calculations of Hot-Electron Lifetimes in Metals

I. Campillo, V.M. Silkin, J.M. Pitarke, E.V. Chulkov, A. Rubio, P.M. Echenique

First-principles calculations of the inelastic lifetime of low-energy electrons in Al, Mg, Be, and Cu are reported. Quasiparticle damping rates are evaluated from the knowledge of the electron self-energy, which we compute within the GW approximation of many-body theory. Inelastic lifetimes are then obtained along various directions of the electron wave vector, with full inclusion of the band structure of the solid. Average lifetimes are also reported, as a function of the electron energy. In Al and Mg, splitting of the band structure over the Fermi level yields electron lifetimes that are smaller than those of electrons in a free-electron gas. Larger lifetimes are found in Be, as a result of the characteristic dip that this material presents in the density of states near the Fermi level. In Cu, a major contribution from d electrons participating in the screening of electron-electron interactions yields electron lifetimes that are well above those of electrons in a free-electron gas with the electron density equal to that of valence (4s1) electrons.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevB.61.13484

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