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Advanced Solid State Physics, Second Edition by Philip Phillips

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13  Disorder: localization and exceptions

A problem that has always been central to solid state physics is the insulator–metal transition. The question to answer here is why some materials conduct and others do not. Metals are characterized by a non-zero dc conductivity σ (0) at zero temperature, whereas σ (0) = 0 in an insulator. There are currently three standard models that describe a transition between these two extremes. Anderson (A1958) was first to point out that scattering from a static but random potential can disrupt metallic conduction and lead to an abrupt localization of the electronic eigenstates. Mott (M1949), on the other hand, proposed that an insulating state can obtain even in a material such as NiO which possesses a partially ...

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