The spontaneous self-assembly of nanostructures composed of multiple elements paves the way toward materials that could improve a range of energy efficient technologies and data storage devices.
ORNL Materials Science and Technology Division researcher Amit Goyal led the effort, combining theoretical and experimental studies to understand and control the self-assembly of insulating barium zirconium oxide nanodots and nanorods within barium-copper-oxide superconducting films.
"We found that a strain field that develops around the embedded nanodots and nanorods is a key driving force in the self-assembly," said Goyal, a UT-Battelle Corporate Fellow. "By tuning the strain field, the nanodefects self-assembled within the superconducting film and included defects aligned in both vertical and horizontal directions."
The controlled assembly within the superconducting material resulted in greatly improved properties, Goyal said, including a marked reduction in the material's anisotropy, or directional dependence, desired for many large-scale, high-temperature superconductivity applications.
The strain-tuning the team demonstrated has implications in the nanoscale fabrication of controlled, self-assembled nanostructures of multiple elements, with properties suitable for a range of electrical and electronic applications, including multiferroics, magnetoelectrics, thermoelectrics, photovoltaics, ultra-high density information storage and high-temperature superconductors.
"Such nanocomposite films with different overall composition, concentration, feature size and spatial ordering can produce a number of novel and unprecedented properties that are not exhibited in individual materials or phases comprising the composite films," Goyal said.
The research, reported today in the journal Advanced Functional Materials, was supported by the Department of Energy's Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability and Laboratory Directed Research and Development funding. A portion of the research was conducted at ORNL’s SHaRE User Facility, which is supported by the DOE Office of Science.
Co-authors with Goyal are ORNL's Sung Hun Wee, Yanfei Gao, Karren L. More, Jianxin Zhong and Malcolm Stocks and the University of Tennessee 's Yuri L. Zuev and Jianyong Meng.
ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the DOE Office of Science. DOE's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit http://science.energy.gov.NOTE TO EDITORS: You may read other press releases from Oak Ridge National Laboratory or learn more about the lab at http://www.ornl.gov/news. Additional information about ORNL is available at the sites below:
Bill Cabage | Newswise Science News
New material could lead to erasable and rewriteable optical chips
07.12.2016 | University of Texas at Austin
Porous crystalline materials: TU Graz researcher shows method for controlled growth
07.12.2016 | Technische Universität Graz
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
08.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering
07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine
07.12.2016 | Life Sciences