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Electrons and Disorder in Solids$
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V. F. Gantmakher

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780198567561

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198567561.001.0001

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GRANULAR METALS

GRANULAR METALS

Chapter:
(p.139) 8 GRANULAR METALS
Source:
Electrons and Disorder in Solids
Author(s):

V.F. Gantmakher

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198567561.003.0008

This chapter demonstrates approaches to the treatment of macroscopically inhomogeneous materials. The conception and criteria of granularity are introduced and experimental examples of metal-insulator transition are presented. The nature of the transition is tightly connected to the phenomenon of Coulomb blockade: electron tunneling between the grains is blocked because charging of small grains requires Coulomb energy larger than the temperature. The concept of a granular material is not restricted to cermets — a mixture of metallic and insulating grains of different sizes but quasi-spherical in shape. It can be extended to materials with fractal grains where the insulating volume resembles a loose glomus of thin insulating sheets.

Keywords:   cermet, Coulomb blockade, granulation, phase transition, tunneling, fractal grains

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