From Oak Ridge Lab: “ORNL experiments prove nanoscale metallic conductivity in ferroelectrics”

Morgan McCorkle
January 9, 2012

ORNL experiments prove nanoscale metallic conductivity in ferroelectrics

“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.
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.”

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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.

See the full article here.

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