Collaborating scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and Princeton University have discovered a new layered ferromagnetic semiconductor, a rare type of material that holds great promise for next-generation electronic technologies.
As the name implies, semiconductors are the Goldilocks of electrically conductive materials-- not a metal, and not an insulator, but a "just-right" in-between whose conducting properties can be altered and customized in ways that create the basis for the world's modern electronic capabilities. Especially rare are the ones closer to an insulator than to a metal.
The recent discovery of ferromagnetism in semiconducting materials has been limited to a handful of mostly chromium-based compounds. But here, the researchers discovered ferromagnetism in a vanadium-iodine semiconductor, a material which has long been known but ignored; and which scientist Tai Kong compared to finding a "hidden treasure in our own backyard."
Now a postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Robert J. Cava, the Russell Wellman Moore Professor of Chemistry at Princeton University, Kong completed PhD research at the Ames Laboratory under supervision of Paul C. Canfield. And when new material could have ferromagnetic response, Kong turned to Ames Laboratory for the magneto-optical visualization of magnetic domains that serves as the definitive proof of ferromagnetism.
"Being able to exfoliate these materials down into 2D layers gives us new opportunities to find unusual properties that are potentially useful to electronic technology advances," said Kong. "It's sort of like getting a new shape of Lego bricks. The more unique pieces you have, the cooler the stuff you can build."
The advantage of ferromagnetism in a semiconductor is that electronic properties become spin-dependent. Electrons align their spins along internal magnetization.
"This creates an additional control knob to manipulate currents flowing through a semiconductor by manipulating magnetization, either by changing the magnetic field or by other more complex means, while the amount of current that can be carried may be controlled by doping (adding small amount of other materials)," said Ames Laboratory Scientist Ruslan Prozorov.
"These additional ways to control behavior and the potential to discover novel effects are the reason for such high interest in finding insulators and semiconductors that are also ferromagnets."
The research is further discussed in the paper, "VI3--a New Layered Ferromagnetic Semiconductor," authored by Tai Kong, Karoline Stolze, Erik I. Timmons, Jing Tao, Danrui Ni, Shu Guo, Zoë Yang, Ruslan Prozorov, and Robert J. Cava; and featured on the back cover of Advanced Materials.
Ames Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science national laboratory operated by Iowa State University. Ames Laboratory creates innovative materials, technologies and energy solutions. We use our expertise, unique capabilities and interdisciplinary collaborations to solve global problems.
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 science.energy.gov.
Laura Millsaps | EurekAlert!
Scientists' design discovery doubles conductivity of indium oxide transparent coatings
18.09.2019 | University of Liverpool
Heat shields for economical aircrafts
18.09.2019 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Werkstoff- und Strahltechnik IWS
How long the battery of your phone or computer lasts depends on how many lithium ions can be stored in the battery's negative electrode material. If the battery runs out of these ions, it can't generate an electrical current to run a device and ultimately fails.
Materials with a higher lithium ion storage capacity are either too heavy or the wrong shape to replace graphite, the electrode material currently used in...
To process information, photons must interact. However, these tiny packets of light want nothing to do with each other, each passing by without altering the...
Researchers from the Department of Atomically Resolved Dynamics of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg, the University of Hamburg and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) outstation in the city have developed a new method to watch biomolecules at work. This method dramatically simplifies starting enzymatic reactions by mixing a cocktail of small amounts of liquids with protein crystals. Determination of the protein structures at different times after mixing can be assembled into a time-lapse sequence that shows the molecular foundations of biology.
The functions of biomolecules are determined by their motions and structural changes. Yet it is a formidable challenge to understand these dynamic motions.
At the International Symposium on Automotive Lighting 2019 (ISAL) in Darmstadt from September 23 to 25, 2019, the Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, a provider of research and development services in the field of organic electronics, will present OLED light strips of any length with additional functionalities for the first time at booth no. 37.
Almost everyone is familiar with light strips for interior design. LED strips are available by the metre in DIY stores around the corner and are just as often...
Later during this century, around 2060, a paradigm shift in global energy consumption is expected: we will spend more energy for cooling than for heating....
19.09.2019 | Event News
10.09.2019 | Event News
04.09.2019 | Event News
20.09.2019 | Life Sciences
20.09.2019 | Life Sciences
20.09.2019 | Life Sciences