Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Crystallizing the Future of Oxide Materials

A University of Arkansas physicist and his colleagues have examined the challenges facing scientists building the next generation of materials and innovative electronic devices and identified opportunities for taking the rational material design in new directions.

Jak Chakhalian of the University of Arkansas, A.J. Millis of Columbia University and J. Rondinelli of Drexel University present their ideas in the current issue of Nature.

“Where you see issues, there are opportunities,” Chakhalian said.

The researchers focus on complex oxide interfaces with strongly correlated electrons, which are artificially created structures involving materials called transition metal oxides. Oxide interfaces have the potential to revolutionize materials and devices based on them the way that semiconductors once did, but researchers find themselves hampered by several obstacles.

First, no one has developed a comprehensive theory of why oxide interfaces behave as they do, which means that scientists cannot predict or often even explain the materials’ properties. Second, scientists face challenges in synthesizing these complex materials with atomic precision. Synthesizing involves taking several chemical elements balanced very precisely and combining them into intricate geometrical arrangements. On top of this, to create interfaces, scientists must grow these very dissimilar materials together.

While these challenges may seem intimidating, Chakhalian and his colleagues see two opportunities. The first is to grow materials in unusual directions. Chakhalian has already demonstrated that an oxide interface grown along the diagonal of a cube will crystalize into triangular and hexagonal atomic patterns, while the same material grown on a conventional “horizontal” surface will have a common cubic pattern.

“When grown along the diagonal, from the mechanical, electronic and magnetic properties point of view it becomes a new, exotic material,” he said. By forcing materials to grow in directions that they would usually resist in nature, Chakhalian suggests a way to find these novel exotic materials.

The second opportunity involves creating interfaces between oxide materials and materials where oxygen is replaced by another element, which leads to entirely new materials with novel electronic properties. For instance, nickel oxide is an insulator but nickel sulfide is metallic. By alternating an oxide-based layer with a non-oxide based layer, scientists propose creating interfaces with important properties for, among other things, energy savings and water purification.

“If you want to talk about the next nanoelectronics revolution or real solutions to the energy problem, these are some of the groundbreaking directions we propose to take,” Chakhalian said.

Chakhalian is the Charles and Clydene Scharlau Professor of Physics in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences.

Jak Chakhalian, professor, physics
J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences
Melissa Lutz Blouin, senior director of academic communications
University Relations

Melissa Lutz Blouin | Newswise Science News
Further information:

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht From ancient fossils to future cars
21.10.2016 | University of California - Riverside

nachricht Study explains strength gap between graphene, carbon fiber
20.10.2016 | Rice University

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>