The properties of an interacting electron system depend on the electron correlations and the effective dimensionality. For example, Coulomb repulsion between electrons may inhibit, or completely block, conduction by intersite electron hopping, thereby determining whether a material is a metal or an insulator. Furthermore, correlation effects increase as the number of effective dimensions decreases; in three-dimensional systems, the low-energy electronic states behave as quasiparticles, whereas in one-dimensional systems, even weak interactions break the quasiparticles into collective excitations. Dimensionality is particularly important for exotic low-dimensional materials where one- or two-dimensional building blocks are loosely connected into a three-dimensional whole. Here we examine two such layered metallic systems with angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy and electronic transport measurements, and we find a crossover in the number of effective dimensions - from two to three - with decreasing temperature. This is apparent from the observation that, in the direction perpendicular to the layers, the materials have an insulating character at high temperatures but become metal-like at low temperatures, whereas transport within the layers remains metallic over the whole temperature range. We propose that this change in effective dimensionality correlates with the presence of coherent quasiparticles within the layers.
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