Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Birthing a new breed of materials

Date:
October 23, 2013
Source:
American Institute of Physics
Summary:
New research shows scientists' first steps into the unexplored territory of interfacial materials that could someday yield smaller, faster, more energy-efficient devices.

Where two different materials meet on the atomic level, a new material can be born that is neither one nor the other. The two parent materials do not mix -- they remain distinct from one another -- but their marriage begets a strange child with properties unlike those of either parent. These so-called interfacial materials are considered to be a breed of materials in their own right, and, thanks to recent technological advances that allow them to be fabricated in the laboratory, their real-world properties can now be explored.

A discussion of new insights into these interfacial materials, as well as some of the novel properties expected of them, will be given by materials scientist Chang-Beom Eom, Theodore H. Geballe Professor and Harvey D. Spangler Distinguished Professor at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, at the AVS 60th International Symposium and Exhibition, held Oct. 27-Nov. 1, 2013, in Long Beach, Calif.

"Each new interfacial material presents unexplored territory, in much the same way as the discovery of a new bulk material," Eom said. Researchers can use analogies to compare a new interfacial material to bulk materials with similar properties, he continued, "but there is always something unique about the new interfacial material that holds surprises" for the people studying it.

For one such material is born from the marriage between LaAlO3 (lanthanum aluminum oxide) and SrTiO3 (strontium titanium oxide). The parent compounds are insulating, meaning they do not conduct electricity; but the interface where they meet is conducting. Another interfacial material, made of different parent compounds, holds promise for being a topological insulator, a material that allows electrons to move along its surface in a way that fundamentally protects them from the usual defects and imperfections of a conducting substance.

Size is one of the bigger advantages of these new substances compared to bulk materials. Since their unusual behavior is confined to the atom-thin space between two compounds, interfacial materials could one day be used to make tiny devices that consume less power, Eom said.

Theorists had predicted the existence of many of these substances, but modern-day techniques for growing one thin film on top of another with interfaces that are atomically distinct from each other have now made it possible to create these materials in the laboratory.

"Advances over the last ten years in both materials experiment and theory have come together to provide our first real opportunities to broadly explore interfacial materials," Eom said. With a deeper understanding of their unusual properties, Eom continued, researchers may one day be able to customize the materials, combining theory and experiment to design interfacial materials for nanoscale applications.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Institute of Physics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Institute of Physics. "Birthing a new breed of materials." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131023141123.htm>.
American Institute of Physics. (2013, October 23). Birthing a new breed of materials. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131023141123.htm
American Institute of Physics. "Birthing a new breed of materials." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131023141123.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

AP (July 24, 2014) TSA administrator, John Pistole's took part in the Aspen Security Forum 2014, where he answered questions on lifting of the ban on flights into Israel's Tel Aviv airport and whether politics played a role in lifting the ban. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

TheStreet (July 23, 2014) When The Deal's Amanda Levin exclusively reported that Gas Natural had been talking to potential suitors, the Ohio company responded with a flat denial, claiming its board had not talked to anyone about a possible sale. Lo and behold, Canadian utility Algonquin Power and Utilities not only had approached the company, but it did it three times. Its last offer was for $13 per share as Gas Natural's was trading at a 60-day moving average of about $12.50 per share. Now Algonquin, which has a 4.9% stake in Gas Natural, has taken its case to shareholders, calling on them to back its proposals or, possibly, a change in the target's board. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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