Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Rutgers scientists perform ’materials magic’ to simplify crystal-making for electronics

31.05.2005


Materials scientists at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, have devised a novel and easy technique to make thin, crystal-like materials for electronic devices. The technique could supplement today’s tedious and exacting method of growing crystals with an additional benefit of producing materials in sizes and shapes not now possible.



In a recent issue of the American Chemical Society journal Langmuir, Rutgers scientists and collaborators from Ceramare Corporation and the University of California, Berkeley, report on a method where they coax thousands of microscopic grains of individual crystals to assemble into tightly packed layers. The resulting orderly array of particles mimics the performance of traditionally fabricated crystalline wafers, without the time and expense of growing crystals in a molten mixture or solution, then slicing them into thin layers.

"The materials we’ve created in our lab bridge the gap between single-crystal materials, with their precisely ordered atomic structures, and ceramics, which have randomly oriented structures," said Richard Riman, professor of ceramic and materials engineering. "These so-called ’single-crystal-like’ materials possess properties approaching those of true single crystal materials, but since we make them with techniques drawn from ceramic fabrication, there is potential to synthesize them economically and in large size and quantity."


Riman and his colleagues conducted their research with lead zirconate titanate, or PZT, which is used in motion sensors, electrical capacitors and even for vibration damping in high-performance skis and tennis racquets. PZT has proven almost impossible to fabricate as a single crystal, which limits practical applications to the material’s polycrystalline form; that is, a solid mixture of small crystalline particles. Even the most sophisticated lab techniques have produced crystals no larger than a quarter-inch across. A number of new applications in sensing, imaging and energy storage appear possible if the material can be fabricated in a variety of sizes and shapes with the highly ordered atomic structure of crystals.

The Rutgers-led team created PZT particles using chemical processes, forming cubes of uniform shape and size, between two and three microns on a side (almost 50 times smaller than a grain of table salt). The team then made a slurry of PZT cubes in an alcohol and mineral oil mixture and placed droplets of the slurry on a water surface. Various forces, including the water’s surface tension, caused the cubes to "self-assemble" into a densely packed single layer. The scientists then picked up the array of cubes onto a glass tube or microscope slide, resulting in a thin layer of crystal-like PZT.

Using a sophisticated technique called atomic force microscopy, the scientists measured piezoelectric properties, or the ability to generate electricity by causing vibrations, in the PZT array. They found it had properties comparable to that of a true single-crystal structure. While additional work will be needed to make the fabrication process practical for large-scale production, the research suggests it will be possible to make materials with unique shapes and properties.

Carl Blesch | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.rutgers.edu

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Global study of world's beaches shows threat to protected areas

19.07.2018 | Earth Sciences

New creepy, crawly search and rescue robot developed at Ben-Gurion U

19.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Metal too 'gummy' to cut? Draw on it with a Sharpie or glue stick, science says

19.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>