A new multiferroric film keeps its electric and magnetic properties even when highly curved, paving the way for potential uses in wearable devices
Electronic devices have shrunk rapidly in the past decades, but most remain as stiff as the same sort of devices were in the 1950s -- a drawback if you want to wrap your phone around your wrist when you go for a jog or fold your computer to fit in a pocket.
Researchers from South Korea have taken a new step toward more bendable devices by manufacturing a thin film that keeps its useful electric and magnetic properties even when highly curved. The researchers describe the film in a paper published in the journal Applied Physics Letters, from AIP Publishing.
Flexible electronics have been hard to manufacture because many materials with useful electronic properties tend to be rigid. Researchers have addressed this problem by taking tiny bits of materials like silicon and embedding them in flexible plastics.
A team of physicists and engineers from South Korea took the same approach with bismuth ferrite (BiFeO3) -- one of the most promising materials whose electronic properties can be controlled by a magnetic field, and vice versa. Such materials are called multiferroics and attract interest for applications like energy efficient, instant-on computing.
The researchers synthesized nanoparticles of bismuth ferrite and mixed them into a polymer solution. The solution was dried in a series of steps at increasing temperatures to produce a thin, flexible film.
When the researchers tested the electric and magnetic properties of the film they found that their new material did much more than preserve the useful properties of bulk bismuth ferrite -- it actually made them better. And the improved properties remained even as the film was curved into a cylindrical shape.
"Bulk bismuth ferrite has crucial problems for some applications, such as a high leakage current which hinders the strong electric properties," said YoungPak Lee, a professor at Hanyang University in Seoul, South Korea. Mixing nanoparticles of bismuth ferrite into a polymer improved the current-leakage problem, he said, and also gave the film flexible, stretchable properties.
Flexible multiferrorics could enable new wearable devices such as health monitoring equipment or virtual reality attire, Lee said. The multiferroric materials could be used in high-density, energy efficient memory and switches in such devices, he said.
Before the new films make their debut in wearable tech, the researchers are working to further improve their multiferroic properties, as well as exploring even more flexible materials.
The article, "Multiferroic properties of stretchable BiFeO3 nano-composite film," is authored by J.S. Hwang, J.Y. Cho, S.Y. Park, Y.J Yoo, P.S. Yoo, B.W. Lee and Y.P. Lee. It will be published in the journal Applied Physics Letters on February 10, 2015 (DOI: 10.1063/1.4907220). After that date, it can be accessed at: http://scitation.aip.org/content/aip/journal/apl/106/6/10.1063/1.4907220
The authors of this paper are affiliated with Hanyang University, Seoul National University and Hankuk University of Foreign Studies.
ABOUT THE JOURNAL
Applied Physics Letters features concise, rapid reports on significant new findings in applied physics. The journal covers new experimental and theoretical research on applications of physics phenomena related to all branches of science, engineering, and modern technology. See: http://apl.aip.org
Jason Socrates Bardi
American Institute of Physics
Jason Socrates Bardi | newswise
Scientists propose synestia, a new type of planetary object
23.05.2017 | University of California - Davis
Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence
23.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.
In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...
Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
17.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.05.2017 | Life Sciences
23.05.2017 | Medical Engineering