The latest developments in the field of the metal-insulator transition in 2D
Ignited by the discovery of the metal-insulator transition, the behavior of low-disorder two-dimensional (2D) electron systems is currently the focus of a great deal of attention. In the strongly-interacting limit, electrons are expected to crystallize into a quantum Wigner crystal (Wigner, 1934), but no definitive evidence for this effect has been obtained despite much experimental effort over the years. Now we have found two-threshold voltage-current characteristics with a dramatic increase in noise between the two threshold voltages. This behavior cannot be described within existing traditional models. On the other hand, it is strikingly similar to that observed for the collective depinning of the vortex lattice in Type-II superconductors. Adapting the model used for vortexes to the case of an electron solid yields good agreement with our experimental results, favoring the quantum electron solid as the origin of the low-density state.
host: Xuan Gao