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0022-3719_8_11_004

0022-3719_8_11_004

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Coulomb gap and low-temperature conductivity of disordered systems
This article has been downloaded from IOPscience. Please scroll down to see the full text article.1975 J. Phys. C: Solid State Phys. 8 L239(http://iopscience.iop.org/0022-3719/8/11/004)Download details:IP Address: 194.80.32.10The article was downloaded on 24/08/2011 at 22:51Please note thatterms and conditions apply.Viewthe table of contents for this issue, or go to the journal homepagefor more HomeSearchCollectionsJournalsAboutContact usMy IOPscience
 
J.
Phys.
C:
Solid State Phys.,
Vol.
8,
1975.
Printed in Great Britain.
@
1975
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Coulomb gap and low-temperature conductivity
of
disordered systems
N
F
Mott
Cavendish Laboratory, Madingley Road, Cambridge
CB2
ITT
Received
1
April
1975
Abstract.
A recent letter about the effect
of
Coulomb interaction on variable-range hopping
is
discussed.
Efros and Shklovskii
(1975)
in a recent letter have discussed the effect of electron-electron interaction on the low-temperature conductivity of disordered systems. Theyclaim that this interaction leads to a zero density of states at the Fermi energy, and aconductivity varying as exp(
-
B/T’/2).
We do not think either conclusion is correct,for the following reason. Their analysis applies to the case where the localization radiusis small compared with the distance between centres, and thus to the case of impurityconduction is lightly doped semiconductors. They argue
as
follows. They consider anenergy interval
E
at the Fermi level. If an electron is transferred to another site at adistance
R,
for the energy without Coulomb interaction to
be
less than
E,
R
should
be
greater than the value given by
N(E,)R3~
1.
(1)
The transference of an electron leaves a positive and negative charge, which have inter-action energy
-
2/KR.
They show that, if
E
is small, this quantity may
be
written
-
2[~N(E,)]”3/~.
(2)
For small
E
this will always
be
numerically greater than
E.
Therefore the excitonicterm
e2/1cr12
makes hopping impossible. They go on to argue that, though
N(E,)
=
0,
there is no gap.
As
regards the density of states, however, a finite value of the density of states
N(E,)
will occur
if
excitations exist with vanishingly small energy when
R
tends to infinity;the above argument relates only to finite values of
R,
and does not therefore lead to avanishing density of states.
As
regards hopping, the effect of electron-electron inter-action has been analysed by Knotek and Pollack
(1
974).
It is true that a given carrierproduces a potential well for itself by ensuring that some nearby states are empty whichwould otherwise
be
occupied. If the electron is to jump to a distant site of nearly equalenergy, it must carry its well with it;
in
other words, other electrons must jump toneighbouring sites at the same time, introducing into the hopping probability a productof terms of the type
L239

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