On effective holographic Mott insulators

Matteo Baggioli, Oriol Pujolàs

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    35 Citations (Scopus)


    © 2016, The Author(s). We present a class of holographic models that behave effectively as prototypes of Mott insulators — materials where electron-electron interactions dominate transport phenomena. The main ingredient in the gravity dual is that the gauge-field dynamics contains self-interactions by way of a particular type of non-linear electrodynamics. The electrical response in these models exhibits typical features of Mott-like states: i) the low-temperature DC conductivity is unboundedly low; ii) metal-insulator transitions appear by varying various parameters; iii) for large enough self-interaction strength, the conductivity can even decrease with increasing doping (density of carriers) — which appears as a sharp manifestation of ‘traffic-jam’-like behaviour; iv) the insulating state becomes very unstable towards superconductivity at large enough doping. We exhibit some of the properties of the resulting insulator-superconductor transition, which is sensitive to the momentum dissipation rate in a specific way. These models imply a clear and generic correlation between Mott behaviour and significant effects in the nonlinear electrical response. We compute the nonlinear current-voltage curve in our model and find that indeed at large voltage the conductivity is largely reduced.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number107
    JournalJournal of High Energy Physics
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016


    • AdS-CFT Correspondence
    • Gauge-gravity correspondence
    • Holography and condensed matter physics (AdS/CMT)


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