Screening of an applied electric field inside a metallic layer described by the Thomas-Fermi-von Weizsäcker model. (English) Zbl 1174.82342

Summary: We are interested in the effect of a constant electric field on the electronic structure of a crystal. We model it by a density-functional theory, and derive from this microscopic model macroscopic features of the system by letting the ratio between atomic spacing and the size of the crystal go to zero. Although many aspects are disregarded in this approach, we show that the effect of the electric field is negligible inside the crystal and estimate its vanishing rate with respect to the distance from the boundary of the crystal.


82D20 Statistical mechanics of solids
82D35 Statistical mechanics of metals
35A15 Variational methods applied to PDEs
35J20 Variational methods for second-order elliptic equations
35J50 Variational methods for elliptic systems
35Q40 PDEs in connection with quantum mechanics