Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Experiments demonstrate nanoscale metallic conductivity in ferroelectrics

Date:
January 12, 2012
Source:
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Summary:
The prospect of electronics at the nanoscale may be even more promising with the first observation of metallic conductance in ferroelectric nanodomains.

ORNL researchers used piezoresponse force microscopy to demonstrate the first evidence of metallic conductivity in ferroelectric nanodomains. A representative nanodomain is shown in the PFM image above.
Credit: Image courtesy of DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory

The prospect of electronics at the nanoscale may be even more promising with the first observation of metallic conductance in ferroelectric nanodomains by researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Related Articles


Ferroelectric materials, which switch their polarization with the application of an electric field, have long been used in devices such as ultrasound machines and sensors. Now, discoveries about ferroelectrics' electronic properties are opening up possibilities of applications in nanoscale electronics and information storage.

In a paper published in the American Chemical Society's Nano Letters, the ORNL-led team demonstrated metallic conductivity in a ferroelectric film that otherwise acts as an insulator. This phenomenon of an insulator-metal transition was predicted more than 40 years ago by theorists but has eluded experimental proof until now.

"This finding unambiguously identifies a new conduction channel that percolates through the insulating matrix of the ferroelectric, which opens potentially exciting possibilities to 'write' and 'erase' circuitry with nanoscale dimensions," said lead author Peter Maksymovych of ORNL's Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences.

From an applied perspective, the ability to use only an electric field as a knob that tunes both the magnitude of metallic conductivity in a ferroelectric and the type of charge carriers is particularly intriguing. Doing the latter in a semiconductor would require a change of the material composition.

"Not only can we turn on metallic conductivity, but if you keep changing the bias dials, you can control the behavior very precisely," Maksymovych said. "And the smaller the nanodomain, the better it conducts. All this occurs in the exact same position of the material, and we can go from an insulator to a better metal or a worse metal in a heartbeat or faster. This is potentially attractive for applications, and it also leads to interesting fundamental questions about the exact mechanism of metallic conductivity."

Although the researchers focused their study on a well-known ferroelectric film called lead-zirconate titanate, they expect their observations will hold true for a broader array of ferroelectric materials.

"We also anticipate that extending our studies onto multiferroics, mixed-phase and anti-ferroelectrics will reveal a whole family of previously unknown electronic properties, breaking new ground in fundamentals and applications alike," said co-author and ORNL senior scientist Sergei Kalinin.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Peter Maksymovych, Anna N. Morozovska, Pu Yu, Eugene A. Eliseev, Ying-Hao Chu, Ramamoorthy Ramesh, Arthur P. Baddorf, Sergei V. Kalinin. Tunable Metallic Conductance in Ferroelectric Nanodomains. Nano Letters, 2011; 111230141342002 DOI: 10.1021/nl203349b

Cite This Page:

DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory. "Experiments demonstrate nanoscale metallic conductivity in ferroelectrics." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 January 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120109155944.htm>.
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory. (2012, January 12). Experiments demonstrate nanoscale metallic conductivity in ferroelectrics. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120109155944.htm
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory. "Experiments demonstrate nanoscale metallic conductivity in ferroelectrics." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120109155944.htm (accessed November 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, November 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

NSA Director: China Can Damage US Power Grid

NSA Director: China Can Damage US Power Grid

AP (Nov. 20, 2014) China and "one or two" other countries are capable of mounting cyberattacks that would shut down the electric grid and other critical systems in parts of the United States, according to Adm. Michael Rogers, director of the National Security Agency and hea Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Latest Minivan Crash Tests Aren't Pretty

Latest Minivan Crash Tests Aren't Pretty

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) Five minivans were put to the test in head-on crash simulations by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Takata Offers "sincerest Condolences" To Victims of Malfunctioning Airbag

Takata Offers "sincerest Condolences" To Victims of Malfunctioning Airbag

Reuters - US Online Video (Nov. 20, 2014) U.S. Congress hears from a victim and company officials as it holds a hearing on the safety of Takata airbags after reports of injuries. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
DARPA Creates The Tech You Can Only Dream Of

DARPA Creates The Tech You Can Only Dream Of

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) Curious what a rocket-dodging car would look like? How about a robotic pack mule? Or maybe a wearable robot? These are a few of DARPA's projects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins