Solids are generally divided into metals, which conduct electricity, and insulators, which do not. Some oxides straddle this boundary, however: a material's structure and properties suggest it should be a metal, but it sometimes behaves as an insulator. Researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara are digging into the mechanisms of this transformation and are aiming to harness it for use in novel electronic devices.
About vandewalChris G. Van de Walle is a Professor in the Materials Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the Herbert Kroemer Chair in Materials Science. Prior to joining UCSB he was a Principal Scientist at Xerox PARC (1991-2004). He is a Member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the APS, the AVS, the AAAS, the MRS, and the IEEE, and the recipient of a Humboldt Award for Senior US Scientist, the 2002 David Adler Award from the APS, and the 2013 Medard W. Welch Award from the AVS.
Locking up electrons