Development of 'Slater insulator' that rapidly changes from conductor to insulator at room temperature

July 11, 2012
Fig. :(Left) Photograph of a crystal of Perovskite type osmium oxide and (right) schematic diagram of its crystal structure. White circles: sodium ions, red circles: oxygen ions. Osmium ions exist in the central part of the octahedron.

Dr. Kazunari Yamaura, a Principal Researcher of the Strongly Correlated Materials Group, Superconducting Properties Unit, National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), in joint work with a research group at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the United States, succeeded in development of a Slater insulator which functions at room temperature.

Slater insulators have been studied for more than 50 years as insulators with special properties. Although Slater insulators display the properties of metals at a sufficiently high temperature, they become insulators when cooled to a certain temperature (transition temperature) peculiar to the substance concerned. Because this transition temperature was conventionally far lower than room temperature, study had been limited to scientific research, and virtually no research had been done aiming at development to applications.

This research clarified the fact that a new material (Perovskite type oxide), which was synthesized for the first time by NIMS in 2009, is the Slater with the highest to date. This result was verified through joint experimental research with a research group at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the United States using the method.

Because this new material displays the characteristics of a Slater insulator at room temperature without requiring cooling, it is not only scientifically interesting, but also has the potential for development to application as a new material. If further progress can be achieved in research with this new material as a starting point, there is a possibility that new materials and devices with unprecedented functions can be developed. Concretely, application to solid state devices for detecting signals in the terahertz region, new thermoelectric conversion materials, etc. is considered possible. In the future, research will be carried out aiming at development of new materials with possible practical applications.

This research is to be published in a journal of the American Physical Society, Physical Review Letters.

Explore further: Field-effect transistor based on KTaO3 perovskite

Related Stories

Field-effect transistor based on KTaO3 perovskite

May 1, 2004

Solid state devices based on transition metal oxides, especially with perovskite related structure, are very promising candidates for the next generation electronics due to their rich variety of functions such as superconductivity, ...

Recommended for you

A quantum of light for materials science

December 1, 2015

Computer simulations that predict the light-induced change in the physical and chemical properties of complex systems, molecules, nanostructures and solids usually ignore the quantum nature of light. Scientists of the Max-Planck ...

Quantum dots used to convert infrared light to visible light

December 1, 2015

(—A team of researchers at MIT has succeeded in creating a double film coating that is able to convert infrared light at modest intensities into visible light. In their paper published in the journal Nature Photonics, ...

Test racetrack dipole magnet produces record 16 tesla field

November 30, 2015

A new world record has been broken by the CERN magnet group when their racetrack test magnet produced a 16.2 tesla (16.2T) peak field – nearly twice that produced by the current LHC dipoles and the highest ever for a dipole ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.