Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Better batteries? Going beyond the surface of oxide films

Date:
August 13, 2013
Source:
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Summary:
Better batteries, catalysts, electronic information storage and processing devices are among potential benefits of an unexpected discovery made by scientists using samples isolated from the atmosphere.

Better batteries, catalysts, electronic information storage and processing devices are among potential benefits of an unexpected discovery made by Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists using samples isolated from the atmosphere.

Related Articles


Researchers at the Department of Energy lab learned that key surface properties of complex oxide films are unaffected by reduced levels of oxygen during fabrication -- an unanticipated finding with possible implications for the design of functional complex oxides used in a variety of consumer products, said Zheng Gai, a member of DOE's Center for Nanoscale Materials Sciences at ORNL.

The findings are detailed in a paper published in Nanoscale.

While the properties of the manganite material below the surface change as expected with the removal of oxygen, becoming an insulator rather than a metal, or conductor, researchers found that the sample showed remarkably stable electronic properties at the surface. Gai emphasized that the robustness of a surface matters because it is precisely the surface properties that determine, influence and affect the functionality of complex oxides in catalysis and batteries.

"With these materials being a promising alternative to silicon or graphene in electronic devices, the ever-decreasing size of such components makes their surface properties increasingly important to understand and control," Gai said.

While this work provides a fundamental understanding of a material used and researched for catalysts, oxide electronics and batteries, Gai and lead author Paul Snijders noted that it's difficult to speculate about possible impacts.

"I always say that in basic science we are discovering the alphabet," said Snijders, a member of ORNL's Materials Science and Technology Division. "How these letters will be designed into a useful technological book is hard to predict."

Making this discovery possible was the fact the authors did their experiment using scanning probe microscopy in a vacuum system with no exposure of the samples to the atmosphere. This contrasts with the conventional approach of growing a sample and then installing it in analysis equipment. During such a transfer, scientists expose the material to the water, nitrogen and carbon dioxide in the air.

By studying pristine samples, the ORNL team gained a surprising new understanding of the physics of the material surfaces -- an understanding that is necessary to design new functional applications, Snijders said.

Other authors of the paper, titled "Persistent metal-insulator transition at the surface of an oxygen-deficient, epitaxial manganite film," are Min Gao, Hangwen Guo, Guixin Cao, Wolter Siemons and Thomas Ward of ORNL, Hongjun Gao of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Jian Shen of Fudan University, China. Min Gao and Snijders contributed equally to this work, which was funded by DOE's Basic Energy Sciences. A portion of the research was conducted at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences.


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. Paul C Snijders, Min Gao, Hangwen Guo, Guixin Cao, Wolter Siemons, Hong-Jun Gao, T.Z. Ward, Jian Shen, Zheng Gai. Persistent metal-insulator transition at the surface of an oxygen-deficient, epitaxial manganite film. Nanoscale, 2013; DOI: 10.1039/C3NR02343E

Cite This Page:

DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory. "Better batteries? Going beyond the surface of oxide films." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130813201448.htm>.
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory. (2013, August 13). Better batteries? Going beyond the surface of oxide films. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130813201448.htm
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory. "Better batteries? Going beyond the surface of oxide films." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130813201448.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) A Swedish amputee who became the first person to ever receive a brain controlled prosthetic arm is able to manipulate and handle delicate objects with an unprecedented level of dexterity. The device is connected directly to his bone, nerves and muscles, giving him the ability to control it with his thoughts. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robots Get Funky on the Dance Floor

Robots Get Funky on the Dance Floor

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Dancing, spinning and fighting robots are showing off their agility at "Robocomp" in Krakow. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Saharan Solar Project to Power Europe

Saharan Solar Project to Power Europe

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) A solar energy project in the Tunisian Sahara aims to generate enough clean energy by 2018 to power two million European homes. Matt Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lowe's Testing Robot Sales Assistants in California Store

Lowe's Testing Robot Sales Assistants in California Store

Buzz60 (Oct. 29, 2014) Lowe’s is testing out what it’s describing as a robotic shopping assistant in one of its Orchard Supply Hardware Stores in California. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
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