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:
Twitter - http://twitter.com/oakridgelabnews
RSS Feeds - http://www.ornl.gov/ornlhome/rss_feeds.shtml
Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/oakridgelab
YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/user/OakRidgeNationalLab
LinkedIn - http://www.linkedin.com/companies/oak-ridge-national-laboratory
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/Oak.Ridge.National.Laboratory
Bill Cabage | Source: Newswise Science News
Further information: www.ornl.gov
More articles from Materials Sciences:
Pioneering Path to Electrical Conductivity in ‘Tinker Toy’ Materials to Appear in Science
11.12.2013 | Sandia National Laboratories
GRAPHENE: Growing Giants
10.12.2013 | American Institute of Physics (AIP)
The molecular architecture of three key proteins and their complexes reveals how plants fine-tune their immune response to pathogens
Plants rarely get sick in their natural environment. When the threat of infection arises, a quick decision is made about the necessary countermeasures. The course is set by a protein which forms complexes with its partner proteins for this purpose.
Jane Parker from the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding ...
Researchers studying speciation of butterfly orchids on the Azores have been startled to discover that the answer to a long-debated question "Do the islands support one species or two species?" is actually "three species".
Hochstetter's Butterfly-orchid, newly recognized following application of a battery of scientific techniques and reveling in a complex taxonomic history worthy of Sherlock Holmes, is arguably Europe's rarest orchid species. Under threat in its mountain-top retreat, the orchid urgently requires conservation recognition.
A lavishly illustrated publication, titled "Systematic revision of Platanthera in ...
Researchers from Brown University and the University of Hawaii have found some mineralogical surprises in the Moon's largest impact crater.
Data from the Moon Mineralogy Mapper that flew aboard India's Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter shows a diverse mineralogy in the subsurface of the giant South Pole Aitken basin.
The differing mineral signatures could be reflective of the minerals dredged up at the time of the giant impact 4 billion years ago, ...
In power electronics systems bonded connections create the central electrical connections between adjoining surfaces.
The quality of these bonded connections is one of the main factors that determines the reliability and availability of drive systems in electric vehicles, and hence constitutes a major design challenge for German auto manufacturers aiming to electrify their vehicles.
Now the partners participating in the RoBE (Robust Bonds in ...
International team of scientists develops new feedback method for optimizing the laser pulse shapes used in the control of chemical reactions
In many ways, traditional chemical synthesis is similar to cooking. To alter the final product, you can change the ingredients or their ratio, change the method of mixing ingredients, or change the temperature or pressure of the environment of the ingredients.
Like an accomplished chef, chemists have become very skilled ...
11.12.2013 | Information Technology
11.12.2013 | Life Sciences
11.12.2013 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
11.12.2013 | Event News
10.12.2013 | Event News
05.12.2013 | Event News