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
Gelatine instead of forearm
19.04.2017 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt
Computers create recipe for two new magnetic materials
18.04.2017 | Duke University
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...
Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.
A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine
21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy