Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Rutgers physicists create new class of 2D artificial materials

11.06.2018

International team verifies 53-year-old theory on ferroelectric metals; findings could spawn a new generation of multi-functional devices and applications

In 1965, a renowned Princeton University physicist theorized that ferroelectric metals could conduct electricity despite not existing in nature.


This image shows the positions of atoms in a ferroelectric-like metal that contains barium titanate, strontium titanate and lanthanum titanate.

Image: Zhen Wang and Yimei Zhu; image obtained at Brookhaven National Laboratory

For decades, scientists thought it would be impossible to prove the theory by Philip W. Anderson, who shared the 1977 Nobel Prize in physics. It was like trying to blend fire and water, but a Rutgers-led international team of scientists has verified the theory and their findings are published online in Nature Communications.

"It's exciting," said Jak Chakhalian, a team leader of the study and Professor Claud Lovelace Endowed Chair in Experimental Physics at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. "We created a new class of two-dimensional artificial materials with ferroelectric-like properties at room temperature that don't exist in nature yet can conduct electricity. It's an important link between a theory and an experiment."

A cornerstone of technology, ferroelectric materials are used in electronics such as cell phone and other antennas, computer storage, medical equipment, high precision motors, ultra-sensitive sensors and sonar equipment. None of their materials conducts electricity and the Rutgers-led findings potentially could spawn a new generation of devices and applications, Chakhalian said.

"Ferroelectrics are a very important class of materials technologically," he said. "They move, shrink and expand when electricity is applied and that allows you to move things with exquisite precision. Moreover, every modern cell phone has tens of components with properties similar to ferroelectric material."

Like many physicists, Chakhalian relishes a challenge and he could not find a law of physics that says ferroelectric metals could not be created. So his team, including study lead author Yanwei Cao, a former doctoral student who is now a professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, tapped Chakhalian's state-of-the-art tools to create sheets of materials only a few atoms thick. It's like making sandwiches, Chakhalian said.

"When a material becomes ferroelectric, its atoms shift permanently and we wanted to add metallic properties to an artificial crystal that conducts electricity," he said. "So we took two very thin layers to create a two-dimensional metal at the interface and added a third layer with special properties to shift the atoms in that metallic layer, creating a ferroelectric-like metal. The new structure has several functionalities built-in, and this is a big win-win."

###

Study co-authors at Rutgers include post-doc Xiaoran Liu; Mikhail (Misha) Kareev, a staff member of the condensed matter experimental group; and theoretician Karin M. Rabe, Board of Governors Professor of Physics.

Media Contact

Todd Bates
todd.bates@rutgers.edu
848-932-0550

 @RutgersU

http://www.rutgers.edu 

Todd Bates | EurekAlert!
Further information:
https://news.rutgers.edu/rutgers-physicists-create-new-class-2d-artificial-materials/20180607#.WxquR-4vy70
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-03964-9

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht A new paradigm of material identification based on graph theory
17.06.2019 | Science China Press

nachricht Electron beam strengthens recyclable nanocomposite
17.06.2019 | Kanazawa University

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: The hidden structure of the periodic system

The well-known representation of chemical elements is just one example of how objects can be arranged and classified

The periodic table of elements that most chemistry books depict is only one special case. This tabular overview of the chemical elements, which goes back to...

Im Focus: MPSD team discovers light-induced ferroelectricity in strontium titanate

Light can be used not only to measure materials’ properties, but also to change them. Especially interesting are those cases in which the function of a material can be modified, such as its ability to conduct electricity or to store information in its magnetic state. A team led by Andrea Cavalleri from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg used terahertz frequency light pulses to transform a non-ferroelectric material into a ferroelectric one.

Ferroelectricity is a state in which the constituent lattice “looks” in one specific direction, forming a macroscopic electrical polarisation. The ability to...

Im Focus: Determining the Earth’s gravity field more accurately than ever before

Researchers at TU Graz calculate the most accurate gravity field determination of the Earth using 1.16 billion satellite measurements. This yields valuable knowledge for climate research.

The Earth’s gravity fluctuates from place to place. Geodesists use this phenomenon to observe geodynamic and climatological processes. Using...

Im Focus: Tube anemone has the largest animal mitochondrial genome ever sequenced

Discovery by Brazilian and US researchers could change the classification of two species, which appear more akin to jellyfish than was thought.

The tube anemone Isarachnanthus nocturnus is only 15 cm long but has the largest mitochondrial genome of any animal sequenced to date, with 80,923 base pairs....

Im Focus: Tiny light box opens new doors into the nanoworld

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have discovered a completely new way of capturing, amplifying and linking light to matter at the nanolevel. Using a tiny box, built from stacked atomically thin material, they have succeeded in creating a type of feedback loop in which light and matter become one. The discovery, which was recently published in Nature Nanotechnology, opens up new possibilities in the world of nanophotonics.

Photonics is concerned with various means of using light. Fibre-optic communication is an example of photonics, as is the technology behind photodetectors and...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Novel communications architecture for future ultra-high speed wireless networks

17.06.2019 | Information Technology

Climate Change in West Africa

17.06.2019 | Earth Sciences

Robotic fish to replace animal testing

17.06.2019 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>