Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Crystallizing the Future of Oxide Materials

26.01.2012
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.

CONTACTS:
Jak Chakhalian, professor, 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 Oriented hexagonal boron nitride foster new type of information carrier
25.05.2020 | Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology

nachricht A replaceable, more efficient filter for N95 masks
22.05.2020 | 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: Biotechnology: Triggered by light, a novel way to switch on an enzyme

In living cells, enzymes drive biochemical metabolic processes enabling reactions to take place efficiently. It is this very ability which allows them to be used as catalysts in biotechnology, for example to create chemical products such as pharmaceutics. Researchers now identified an enzyme that, when illuminated with blue light, becomes catalytically active and initiates a reaction that was previously unknown in enzymatics. The study was published in "Nature Communications".

Enzymes: they are the central drivers for biochemical metabolic processes in every living cell, enabling reactions to take place efficiently. It is this very...

Im Focus: New double-contrast technique picks up small tumors on MRI

Early detection of tumors is extremely important in treating cancer. A new technique developed by researchers at the University of California, Davis offers a significant advance in using magnetic resonance imaging to pick out even very small tumors from normal tissue. The work is published May 25 in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

researchers at the University of California, Davis offers a significant advance in using magnetic resonance imaging to pick out even very small tumors from...

Im Focus: I-call - When microimplants communicate with each other / Innovation driver digitization - "Smart Health“

Microelectronics as a key technology enables numerous innovations in the field of intelligent medical technology. The Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering IBMT coordinates the BMBF cooperative project "I-call" realizing the first electronic system for ultrasound-based, safe and interference-resistant data transmission between implants in the human body.

When microelectronic systems are used for medical applications, they have to meet high requirements in terms of biocompatibility, reliability, energy...

Im Focus: When predictions of theoretical chemists become reality

Thomas Heine, Professor of Theoretical Chemistry at TU Dresden, together with his team, first predicted a topological 2D polymer in 2019. Only one year later, an international team led by Italian researchers was able to synthesize these materials and experimentally prove their topological properties. For the renowned journal Nature Materials, this was the occasion to invite Thomas Heine to a News and Views article, which was published this week. Under the title "Making 2D Topological Polymers a reality" Prof. Heine describes how his theory became a reality.

Ultrathin materials are extremely interesting as building blocks for next generation nano electronic devices, as it is much easier to make circuits and other...

Im Focus: Rolling into the deep

Scientists took a leukocyte as the blueprint and developed a microrobot that has the size, shape and moving capabilities of a white blood cell. Simulating a blood vessel in a laboratory setting, they succeeded in magnetically navigating the ball-shaped microroller through this dynamic and dense environment. The drug-delivery vehicle withstood the simulated blood flow, pushing the developments in targeted drug delivery a step further: inside the body, there is no better access route to all tissues and organs than the circulatory system. A robot that could actually travel through this finely woven web would revolutionize the minimally-invasive treatment of illnesses.

A team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS) in Stuttgart invented a tiny microrobot that resembles a white blood cell...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Dresden Nexus Conference 2020: Same Time, Virtual Format, Registration Opened

19.05.2020 | Event News

Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium AWK'21 will take place on June 10 and 11, 2021

07.04.2020 | Event News

International Coral Reef Symposium in Bremen Postponed by a Year

06.04.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

New 5G switch provides 50 times more energy efficiency than currently exists

27.05.2020 | Information Technology

Return of the Blob: Surprise link found to edge turbulence in fusion plasma

27.05.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

Upwards with the “bubble shuttle”: How sea floor microbes get involved with methane reduction in the water column

27.05.2020 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>