AIMR Math Group On-line Seminar

#10 FY2021

 

Date :January. 13th (Thu) 2022 10:00-11:00

Venue: Zoom

Speaker: Dr. Yi Huang (University of Michigan)
Title: More disorder can lead to better conductivity

 

Abstract

As you might remember from your high school physics class, electrical resistance results from electron scattering. At zero temperature the only scattering mechanism comes from disorder like charged impurities, so it seems like putting more disorder can only make resistance higher. Here we show a surprising case in two-dimensional small-bandgap semiconductor where more disorder actually leads to better conductivity. At some critical disorder, an insulator can even be turned into a metal, which looks counterintuitive at first glance. Our theoretical model offers a way to explain some experiments where the measured conductivity is much higher than expected. In this talk, I will explain how we should understand such an unconventional phenomenon. The key point is that disorder creates large electric field fluctuations, which help electrons quantum mechanically tunnel through the insulating gap and increase the conductivity.

 

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