Percolation and tunneling in composite materials

I. Balberg*, D. Azulay, D. Toker, O. Millo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

205 Scopus citations


Classical percolation theory is concerned with the onset of geometrical connectivity and the accompanied onset of electrical connectivity in disordered systems. It was found, however, that in many systems, such as various composites, the geometrical and electrical onsets of the connectivity are not simultaneous and the correlation between them depends on physical processes such as tunneling. The difference between the above two types of systems and the consequences for the electrical transport properties of the latter composites have been largely ignored in the past. The application of scanning local probe microscopies and some recent theoretical developments have enabled a better understanding of the latter systems and their sometimes "strange" behavior as bona fide percolation systems. In this review we consider the above issues and their manifestation in three types of systems: Carbon Black-Polymer composites, metal-insulator cermets and hydrogenated microcrystalline silicon.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2091-2121
Number of pages31
JournalInternational Journal of Modern Physics B
Issue number15
StatePublished - 20 Jun 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Israel Science Foundation, and benefited from the collaboration with, M. Balberg, V. Chu, J. P. Conde, M. Eylon, C. Grimaldy, M. B. Heaney, K. Schwartz, N. Shimoni and M. Wartenberg.


  • Composites
  • Eletro-thermal switching
  • Non-universal behavior
  • Percolation
  • Scanning local probe microscopies and spectroscopies
  • Transport in multi-phase systems
  • Tunneling


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