Mott insulators are a class of materials that are expected to conduct electricity according to conventional band theories, but turn out to be insulators (particularly at low temperatures). These insulators fail to be correctly described by band theories of solids due to their strong electron–electron interactions, which are not considered in conventional band theory. A Mott transition is a transition from a metal to an insulator, driven by the strong interactions between electrons. One of the simplest models that can capture Mott transition is the Hubbard model.
The band gap in a Mott insulator exists between bands of like character, such as 3d electron bands, whereas the band gap in charge-transfer insulators exists between anion and cation states, such as between O 2p and Ni 3d bands in NiO.