Hartree-Fock theory of a current-carrying electron gas

H. Mera, P. Bokes, R. W. Godby

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State-of-the-art simulation tools for nonequilibrium quantum transport systems typically take the current-carrier occupations to be described in terms of equilibrium distribution functions characterized by two different electrochemical potentials, while for the description of electronic exchange and correlation, the local density approximation (LDA) to density functional theory is generally used. However, this involves an inconsistency because the LDA is based on the homogeneous electron gas in equilibrium, while the system is not in equilibrium and may be far from it. In this paper, we analyze this inconsistency by studying the interplay between nonequilibrium occupancies obtained from a maximum entropy approach and the Hartree-Fock exchange energy, single-particle spectrum and exchange hole, for the case of a two-dimensional homogeneous electron gas. The current dependence of the local exchange potential is also discussed. It is found that the single-particle spectrum and exchange hole have a significant dependence on the current, which has not been taken into account in practical calculations since it is not captured by the commonly used functionals. The exchange energy and the local exchange potential, however, are shown to change very little with respect to their equilibrium counterparts. The weak dependence of these quantities on the current is explained in terms of the symmetries of the exchange hole.

Original languageEnglish
Article number125319
Pages (from-to)-
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2007

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© 2007 American Physical Society. This is an author produced version of a paper published in Physical Review B. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self archiving policy.



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