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Materials - Entering a new domain

 

With the aid of a one-of-a-kind instrument at Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, scientists have made a series of discoveries that could open new pathways for nanoscale electronics. The study, published in Nature Materials (http://www.nature.com/nmat/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/nmat2373) and led by Ramamoorthy Ramesh of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has revealed that domain walls in a material called bismuth ferrite possess an unexpected electron conductance. The nanometer-scale domain walls separate the regions of a material with different magnetic, electric and other properties. Scientists believe that they hold a key to making great strides in logic and memory functions of tomorrow's electronic devices. Leading the collaborative effort from ORNL was the team of Peter Maksymovych, a Wigner fellow, and Sergei Kalinin. The ORNL team is pursuing the fundamental polarization and transport behaviors of ferroelectric materials, of which this and a recent study of local polarization switching are the first examples. This research was funded by the Office of Basic Energy Sciences within the Department of Energy's Office of Science

 -  Ron Walli,  865.576.0226,  March 02, 2009
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