Navigation Links
Researchers 'stretch' a lackluster material into a possible electronics revolution

ITHACA, N.Y. It's the Clark Kent of oxide compounds, and on its own it is pretty boring. But slice europium titanate nanometers thin and physically stretch it, and then it takes on super hero-like properties that could revolutionize electronics, according to new Cornell research. (Nature, Aug. 19, 2010.)

Researchers report that thin films of europium titanate become both ferroelectric (electrically polarized) and ferromagnetic (exhibiting a permanent magnetic field) when stretched across a substrate of dysprosium scandate, another type of oxide. The best simultaneously ferroelectric, ferromagnetic material to date pales in comparison by a factor of 1,000.

Simultaneous ferroelectricity and ferromagnetism is rare in nature and coveted by electronics visionaries. A material with this magical combination could form the basis for low-power, highly sensitive magnetic memory, magnetic sensors or highly tunable microwave devices.

The search for ferromagnetic ferroelectrics dates back to 1966, when the first such compound a nickel boracite was discovered. Since then, scientists have found a few additional ferromagnetic ferroelectrics, but none stronger than the nickel compound that is, until now.

"Previous researchers were searching directly for a ferromagnetic ferroelectric an extremely rare form of matter," said Darrell Schlom, Cornell professor of materials science and engineering, and an author on the paper.

"Our strategy is to use first-principles theory to look among materials that are neither ferromagnetic nor ferroelectric, of which there are many, and to identify candidates that, when squeezed or stretched, will take on these properties," said Craig Fennie, assistant professor of applied and engineering physics, and another author on the paper.

This fresh strategy, demonstrated using the europium titanate, opens the door to other ferromagnetic ferroelectrics that may work at even higher temperatures using the same materials-by-design strategy, the researchers said.

Other authors include David A. Muller, Cornell professor of applied and engineering physics; and first author June Hyuk Lee, a graduate student in Schlom's lab.

The researchers took an ultra-thin layer of the oxide and "stretched" it by placing it on top of the disprosium compound. The crystal structure of the europium titanate became strained because of its tendency to align itself with the underlying arrangement of atoms in the substrate.

Fennie's previous theoretical work had indicated that a different kind of material strain more akin to squishing by compression would also produce ferromagnetism and ferroelectricity. But the team discovered that the stretched europium compound displayed electrical properties 1,000 times better than the best-known ferroelectric/ferromagnetic material thus far, translating to thicker, higher-quality films.

This new approach to ferromagnetic ferroelectrics could prove a key step toward the development of next-generation memory storage, superb magnetic field sensors and many other applications long dreamed about. But commercial devices are a long way off; no devices have yet been made using this material. The Cornell experiment was conducted at an extremely cold temperature about 4 degrees Kelvin (-452 Fahrenheit). The team is already working on materials that are predicted to show such properties at much higher temperatures.


Contact: Blaine Friedlander
Cornell University

Related biology technology :

1. Researchers successfully test new alternative to traditional semiconductors
2. WSU researchers use super-high pressures to create super battery
3. Pitt-led researchers to build foundation for quantum supercomputers with $7.5 million federal grant
4. Engineering researchers simplify process to make worlds tiniest wires
5. CSHL researchers demonstrate efficacy of antisense therapy for spinal muscular atrophy
6. Caliper Owners Group Meeting Showcases Critical Role of Biopharma and Academic Researchers for Improving Healthcare and Quality of Life
7. Researchers develop living, breathing human lung-on-a-chip
8. Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute develop new method for mass-producing graphene
9. University of Minnesota researchers clear major hurdle in road to high-efficiency solar cells
10. Researchers develop ultra-simple method for creating nanoscale gold coatings
11. Texas A&M veterinary researchers achieve cloning first
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015 --> ... - 2020 report analyzes that automating biobanking workflow ... in long-term samples, minimizing manual errors, improving the ... manual errors such as mislabeling or inaccurate sample ... plays a vital role in blood fractionation, DNA ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... HOLLISTON, Mass. , Nov. 25, 2015 ... a biotechnology company developing bioengineered organ implants for life-threatening ... will present at the LD Micro "Main Event" investor ... PT. The presentation will be webcast live and posted ... also be available at the conference for one-on-one meetings ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... DIEGO , Nov. 25, 2015 Orexigen® ... management will participate in a fireside chat discussion at ... New York . The discussion is scheduled ... .  A replay will be ... Media Contact:McDavid Stilwell  , Julie NormartVP, Corporate Communications ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... The United ... recipient of the 2016 USGA Green Section Award. Presented annually since 1961, the USGA ... his or her work with turfgrass. , Clarke, of Iselin, N.J., is ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:10/29/2015)... ARBOR, Mich. , Oct. 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... Eurofins Genomics for U.S. distribution of its DNA ... DNA-seq kit and Rubicon,s new ThruPLEX Plasma-seq kit. ... to enable the preparation of NGS libraries for ... plasma for diagnostic and prognostic applications in cancer ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... , October 29, 2015 ... biometric authentication company focused on the growing mobile ... wallet announces that StackCommerce, a leading marketplace to ... featuring the Wocket® smart wallet on StackSocial for ... ) ("NXT-ID" or the "Company"), a biometric authentication ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... YORK , Oct. 27, 2015 In ... major issues of concern for various industry verticals such ... is due to the growing demand for secure & ... in various ,sectors, such as hacking of bank accounts, ... for electronic equipment such as PC,s, laptops, and smartphones ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):