Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How Crystal Becomes A Conductor

Date:
February 6, 2008
Source:
University of California - Davis
Summary:
Squeeze a crystal of manganese oxide hard enough, and it changes from an electrical insulator to a conductive metal. Researchers use computational modeling to show why this happens. The results represent an advance in computer modeling of these materials and could shed light on the behavior of similar minerals deep in the Earth.

Squeeze a crystal of manganese oxide hard enough, and it changes from an electrical insulator to a conductive metal. In a new report researchers use computational modeling to show why this happens.

Related Articles


The results represent an advance in computer modeling of these materials and could shed light on the behavior of similar minerals deep in the Earth, said Warren Pickett, professor of physics at UC Davis and an author on the study.

Manganese oxide is magnetic but does not conduct electricity under normal conditions because of strong interactions between the electrons surrounding atoms in the crystal, Pickett said. But under pressures of about a million atmospheres (one megabar), manganese oxide transitions to a metallic state.

Pickett and colleagues Richard Scalettar at UC Davis, Jan Kunes at the University of Augsburg, Germany, Alexey Lukoyanov at the Ural State Technical University, Russia, and Vladimir Anisimov at the Institute of Metal Physics in Yekaterinburg, Russia, built and ran computational models of manganese oxide.

Using the model, the researchers were able to test different explanations for the transition and identify the microscopic mechanism responsible. They found that when the atoms are forced together under high pressure, the magnetic properties of the manganese atoms become unstable and collapse, freeing the electrons to move through the crystal.

Manganese oxide has similar properties to iron oxide and silicates (silicon oxides), which make up a major part of the Earth's crust and mantle. Understanding how these materials behave under enormous pressures deep underground could help geologists understand the Earth's interior, Pickett said.

The paper was published Feb. 3 in the online edition of the journal Nature Materials.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Davis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California - Davis. "How Crystal Becomes A Conductor." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080205170602.htm>.
University of California - Davis. (2008, February 6). How Crystal Becomes A Conductor. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 3, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080205170602.htm
University of California - Davis. "How Crystal Becomes A Conductor." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080205170602.htm (accessed March 3, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Solar Plane Passes New Test Ahead of World Tour

Solar Plane Passes New Test Ahead of World Tour

AFP (Mar. 2, 2015) A solar-powered plane made a third successful test flight in the United Arab Emirates on Monday ahead of a planned round-the-world tour to promote alternative energy. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Electric Hydrofoiling Watercraft Delivers Eco-Friendly Thrills

Electric Hydrofoiling Watercraft Delivers Eco-Friendly Thrills

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 2, 2015) The Quadrofoil is a high-tech electric personal watercraft that its makers call a &apos;sports car for the water&apos;. When it hits 10 km/h, the Slovenian-engineered Quadrofoil is lifted above the water onto four wing-like hydrofoils where it &apos;flies&apos; above the surface with minimal water resistance. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Giants Unveil Latest Models at Technology Show

Smartphone Giants Unveil Latest Models at Technology Show

AFP (Mar. 2, 2015) Mobile providers have been unveiling their upcoming models at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, showing off the latest in smartphone technology. Duration: 00:57 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Tech Challenges Facing Automakers

The Tech Challenges Facing Automakers

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 2, 2015) This year&apos;s The International Motor Show is getting underway in Geneva. As Sonia Legg reports its taking place as Europe&apos;s beleaguered car industry finally starts showing signs of picking up. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins