We consider a superlattice of parallel metal tunnel junctions with a spatially nonhomogeneous probability for electrons to tunnel. In such structures tunneling can be accompanied by electron scattering that conserves energy but not momentum. In the special case of a tunneling probability that varies periodically with period a in the longitudinal direction, i.e., perpendicular to the junctions, electron tunneling is accompanied by umklapp scattering, where the longitudinal momentum changes by a multiple of h/a. We predict that as a result a sequence of metal-insulator transitions can be induced by an external electric or magnetic field as the field strength is increased.
|Number of pages
|Physical Review B: Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
|Published - 3 May 2012