skip to main content

DOE PAGESDOE PAGES

Title: Metal-Insulator Transition in Nanoparticle Solids: Insights from Kinetic Monte Carlo Simulations

Progress has been rapid in increasing the efficiency of energy conversion in nanoparticles. However, extraction of the photo-generated charge carriers remains challenging. Encouragingly, the charge mobility has been improved recently by driving nanoparticle (NP) films across the metal-insulator transition (MIT). To simulate MIT in NP films, we developed a hierarchical Kinetic Monte Carlo transport model. Electrons transfer between neighboring NPs via activated hopping when the NP energies differ by more than an overlap energy, but transfer by a non-activated quantum delocalization, if the NP energies are closer than the overlap energy. As the overlap energy increases, emerging percolating clusters support a metallic transport across the entire film. We simulated the evolution of the temperature-dependent electron mobility. We analyzed our data in terms of two candidate models of the MIT: (a) as a Quantum Critical Transition, signaled by an effective gap going to zero; and (b) as a Quantum Percolation Transition, where a sample-spanning metallic percolation path is formed as the fraction of the hopping bonds in the transport paths is going to zero. We found that the Quantum Percolation Transition theory provides a better description of the MIT. We also observed an anomalously low gap region next to the MIT.more » We discuss the relevance of our results in the light of recent experimental measurements.« less
Authors:
 [1] ; ORCiD logo [2] ;  [1]
  1. Univ. of California, Davis, CA (United States)
  2. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-06CH11357
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 7; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation (NSF); USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS
OSTI Identifier:
1392500