Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Novel Materials Become Multifunctional at Ultimate Quantum Limit

26.09.2012
A University of Arkansas physicist and his colleagues have examined the lower limits of novel materials called complex oxides and discovered that unlike conventional semiconductors the materials not only conduct electricity, but also develop unusual magnetic properties.

Jak Chakhalian, Jian Liu, Derek Meyers and Benjamin Gray of the University of Arkansas and John W. Freeland and Phillip Ryan of the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory present their ideas in Physical Review Letters.

“Contrary to what we have today in modern microelectronics devices based on silicon, here in a single quantum well, which is just four nanometers thick, we now have several functionalities in one device layer,” said Chakhalian, professor of physics and holder of the Charles and Clydene Scharlau Chair in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences. “Engineers can use this class of material to devise new multifunctional devices based on the electrons’ spin.”

The microelectronic materials – semiconductors -- used in today’s computers, have almost reached the lower limitation for size and functionality. Computers run on several semiconducting devices layered together in the very smallest of spaces, known as quantum wells, where nanoscale layers of a semiconducting material are sandwiched between two nanoscale layers of a non-conducting material. However, the researchers found that by using complex oxides with correlated electrons confined to quantum well geometry, they added a new dimension to the mix.

The new structure is based on the concept of correlated charge carriers, like those found in rust, or iron oxide. In rust, if one electron does something, all of the other electrons “know” about it. This phenomenon, called correlated electrons, does not exist in silicon-based materials that run today’s computers, televisions, complex medical equipment,power cell phones and keep the electricity on in homes.

“In normal materials used today, electrons don’t care about the movement of one another,” Chakhalian said. “We can predict their properties almost on the ‘back of an envelope’ with the help of powerful computers.” However, with correlated materials, the calculations for the movement of one electron involve tracking the interactions with billions of electrons, and this is beyond modern theory capabilities.

Chakhalian and his colleagues went down to four atomic layers of a correlated complex oxide material based on nickel and sandwiched it in between two layers of non-conducting oxide material based on aluminum. Unlike the semiconducting materials, the complex oxide structure revealed the unexpected presence of both electronic and magnetic properties.

These multiple properties in a single material may allow the semiconductor industry to push the limits of current conventional computers and develop multiple functions for a single device, possibly allowing everyday electronics to become smaller and faster than they are today.

Chakhalian is a professor in the Institute for Nanoscience and Engineering.

CONTACTS:
Jak Chakhalian, Charles and Clydene Scharlau Professor of Physics
J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences
479-575-4313, jchakhal@uark.edu
Melissa Lutz Blouin, senior director of academic communications
University Relations
479-575-5555, blouin@uark.edu

Melissa Lutz Blouin | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.uark.edu

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht New design improves performance of flexible wearable electronics
23.06.2017 | North Carolina State University

nachricht Plant inspiration could lead to flexible electronics
22.06.2017 | American Chemical Society

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersensitive through quantum entanglement

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy under real ambient pressure conditions

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Mice provide insight into genetics of autism spectrum disorders

28.06.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>