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Collaboration yields 'the right glasses' for observing mystery behavior in electrons
Date:12/13/2007

LOS ALAMOS, New Mexico, December 13, 2007In collaboration with the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies at Los Alamos, an international team of researchers has, for the first time, viewed on a nanoscale the formation of mysterious metallic puddles that facilitate the transition of an electrically insulating material into an electrically conducting one.

The research may lead to a better understanding of superconductorsmaterials that conduct electricity without energy lossor development of better materials for powering high-speed electronics.

In a paper published today in Science, Los Alamos researcher Alexander Balatsky joins researchers in describing a novel approach to viewing Mott transition in vanadium dioxide. Balatskys co-authors include: Mumtaz Qazilbash, Greg Andreev, Brian Maple and Dimitri Basov of the University of California-San Diego; Markus Brehm and Fritz Keilmann of the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry and Center for NanoScience in Munich, Germany; and Byung-Gyu Chae, Hyun-Tak Kim and Sun Jin Yun of IT Convergence and Components Lab, Electronics and Telecommunication Research Institute in Korea.

Materials such as copper metal contain electrons that are mobile enough to conduct an electrical current. In conducting materials such as copper or aluminum, electrons do not hinder one another and are free to move about the lattice structure of the material. In more-complex crystal oxides, such as vanadium dioxide, electrons can become influenced by nearby positively or negatively charged particles, and their movement can become hindered. These materials are known by physicists as correlated materials.

Correlated materials include superconductors or semiconductorscrystals peppered or doped with atoms that may donate mobile electrons to the solid. Correlated materials can exhibit extraordinary changes in their physical properties, such as transforming from an insulating material to a conducting material, when sub
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Contact: James E. Rickman
jamesr@lanl.gov
505-665-9203
DOE/Los Alamos National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

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