Ke, S-H; Baranger, HU; Yang, W, *Electron transport through molecules: Self-consistent and non-self-consistent approaches*,
Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics, vol. 70 no. 8
(2004),
pp. 085410-1-085410-12 [doi] .
**Abstract:**

*A self-consistent method for calculating electron transport through a molecular device is developed. It is based on density functional theory electronic structure calculations under periodic boundary conditions and implemented in the framework of the nonequilibrium Green function approach. To avoid the substantial computational cost in finding the I-V characteristic of large systems, we also develop an approximate but much more efficient non-self-consistent method. Here the change in effective potential in the device region caused by a bias is approximated by the main features of the voltage drop. As applications, the I-V curves of a carbon chain and an aluminum chain sandwiched between two aluminum electrodes are calculated-two systems in which the voltage drops very differently. By comparing to the self-consistent results, we show that this non-self-consistent approach works well and can give quantitatively good results.*