Pressure-induced Anderson-Mott transition in elemental tellurium

Pressure-induced topological change of the Fermi surface at 17 kbar triggers an Anderson-Mott insulator-to-metal transition


Oliveira, J.F., Fontes, M.B., Moutinho, M. et al. Pressure-induced Anderson-Mott transition in elemental tellurium. Commun Mater 2, 1 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s43246-020-00110-1

“Elemental tellurium is a small band-gap semiconductor, which is always p-doped due to the natural occurrence of vacancies. Its chiral non-centrosymmetric structure, characterized by helical chains arranged in a triangular lattice, and the presence of a spin-polarized Fermi surface, render tellurium a promising candidate for future applications. Here, we use a theoretical framework, appropriate for describing the corrections to conductivity from quantum interference effects, to show that a high-quality tellurium single crystal undergoes a quantum phase transition at low temperatures from an Anderson insulator to a correlated disordered metal at around 17 kbar. Such insulator-to-metal transition manifests itself in all measured physical quantities and their critical exponents are consistent with a scenario in which a pressure-induced Lifshitz transition shifts the Fermi level below the mobility edge, paving the way for a genuine Anderson-Mott transition. We conclude that previously puzzling quantum oscillation and transport measurements might be explained by a possible Anderson-Mott ground state and the observed phase transition.”

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