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Keywords:

  • superconductivity;
  • magnetism;
  • metal-insulator transition;
  • strong correlations;
  • electron-electron interactions

Abstract

Strongly correlated materials are profoundly affected by the repulsive electron-electron interaction. This stands in contrast to many commonly used materials such as silicon and aluminum, whose properties are comparatively unaffected by the Coulomb repulsion. Correlated materials often have remarkable properties and transitions between distinct, competing phases with dramatically different electronic and magnetic orders. These rich phenomena are fascinating from the basic science perspective and offer possibilities for technological applications. This article looks at these materials through the lens of research performed at Rice University. Topics examined include: Quantum phase transitions and quantum criticality in “heavy fermion” materials and the iron pnictide high temperature superconductors; computational ab initio methods to examine strongly correlated materials and their interface with analytical theory techniques; layered dichalcogenides as example correlated materials with rich phases (charge density waves, superconductivity, hard ferromagnetism) that may be tuned by composition, pressure, and magnetic field; and nanostructure methods applied to the correlated oxides VO2 and Fe3O4, where metal-insulator transitions can be manipulated by doping at the nanoscale or driving the system out of equilibrium. We conclude with a discussion of the exciting prospects for this class of materials.