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Introduction to Metal-Insulator Transitions

Author: V. Dobrosavljevic
Url: http://arxiv.org/abs/1112.6166
Format: Ps, Pdf
Year: 2011
Category: Strongly Interacting Systems
Pages: 68
Clicks: 1158

In this overview we provide a general introduction to metal-insulator transitions, with focus on specific mechanisms that can localize the electrons in absence of magnetic or charge ordering, and produce well defined quantum critical behavior. We contrast the physical picture of Mott, who emphasized the role of electron-electron interactions, and that of Anderson, who stressed the possibility of impurity-induced bound state formation, as alternative routes to arrest the electronic motion. We also describe more complicated situations when both phenomena play coexist, leading to meta-stability, slow relaxation, and glassy behavior of electrons. A critical overview of the available theoretical approaches is then presented, contrasting the weak-coupling perspective, which emphasizes diffusion-mode corrections, and the strong-coupling viewpoint, which stresses inhomogeneous phases and local correlation effects. We give specific examples of experimental systems, providing clues on what should be the most profitable path forward in unraveling the mystery of metal-insulator transitions.

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