J. Phys. I France
Volume 7, Numéro 12, December 1997
Page(s) 1595 - 1602
DOI: 10.1051/jp1:1997157
J. Phys. I France 7 (1997) 1595-1602

Non-Ergodic Dynamics of an Electron Glass

Michael Pollak1 and Zvi Ovadyahu2

1  Department of Physics, The University of California Riverside, CA 92521, USA
2  The Racah Institute of Physics, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem 91904, Israel

(Received 31 January 1997, revised 15 March 1997, accepted 2 September 1997)

We present the first experimental evidence for the existence of an electron glass. The glassy relaxation is monitored by time dependent conductance measurements following an excitation of electrons to conditions far from equilibrium. At low temperatures the samples exhibit memory-effects observable for hours, as is characteristic of glasses, demonstrating the existence of a glassy electronic phase. A simple model, based on the dynamics of non-interacting Anderson-localized electrons, is analyzed to show that dynamic constraints imposed by particle conservation alone can indeed exhibit the observed non-ergodic behavior.

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