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Author ORCID ID is 0000000226671983
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  1. We have studied the ferroelectric domains in (001) BiFeO 3 (BFO) films patterned into mesas with various aspect ratios, using angle-resolved piezoresponse force microscope (AR-PFM), which can image the in-plane polarization component with an angular resolution of 30 degrees. We observed not only stable polarization variants, but also meta-stable polarization variants, which can reduce the charge accumulated at domain boundaries. We considered the number of neighboring domains that are in contact, in order to analyze the complexity of the ferroelectric domain structure. Comparison of the ferroelectric domains from the patterned and unpatterned regions showed that the elastic relaxation induced bymore » removal of the film surrounding the mesas led to a reduction of the average number of neighboring domains, indicative of a decrease in domain complexity. Finally, we also found that the rectangular BFO patterns with high aspect ratio had a simpler domain configuration and enhanced piezoelectric characteristics than square-shaped mesas. Manipulation of the ferroelectric domains by controlling the aspect ratio of the patterned BFO thin film mesas can be useful for nanoelectronic applications.« less
  2. Flexible organic materials possessing useful electrical properties, such as ferroelectricity, are of crucial importance in the engineering of electronic devices. But, until now, only ferroelectric polymers have intrinsically met this flexibility requirement, leaving small-molecule organic ferroelectrics with room for improvement. Since both flexibility and ferroelectricity are rare properties on their own, combining them in one crystalline organic material is challenging. We report that trisubstituted haloimidazoles not only display ferroelectricity and piezoelectricity-the properties that originate from their non-centrosymmetric crystal lattice-but also lend their crystalline mechanical properties to fine-tuning in a controllable manner by disrupting the weak halogen bonds between the molecules.more » This element of control makes it possible to deliver another unique and highly desirable property, namely crystal flexibility. Moreover, the electrical properties are maintained in the flexible crystals.« less
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  3. Current piezoelectric sensors and actuators are limited to operating temperatures less than ~200ºC due to the low Curie temperature of the piezoelectric material. The strengthening the piezoelectric coupling of high-temperature piezoelectric materials, such as La 2Ti 2O 7 (LTO), would allow sensors to operate across a broad temperature range. The crystalline orientation and piezoelectric coupling direction of LTO thin films can be controlled by epitaxial matching to SrTiO 3(001), SrTiO 3(110), and rutile TiO 2(110) substrates via pulsed laser deposition. The structure and phase purity of the films are investigated by x-ray diffraction and scanning transmission electron microscopy. Piezoresponse forcemore » microscopy is used to measure the in-plane and out-of-plane piezoelectric coupling in the films. The strength of the out-of-plane piezoelectric coupling can be increased when the piezoelectric direction is rotated partially out-of-plane via epitaxy. The strongest out-of-plane coupling is observed for LTO/STO(001). Deposition on TiO 2(110) results in epitaxial La 2/3TiO 3, an orthorhombic perovskite of interest as a microwave dielectric material and an ion conductor. La 2/3TiO 3 can be difficult to stabilize in bulk form, and epitaxial stabilization on TiO 2(110) is a promising route to realize La 2/3TiO 3 for both fundamental studies and device applications. Overall, these results confirm that control of the crystalline orientation of epitaxial LTO-based materials can govern the resulting functional properties.« less
  4. One of the challenges in developing Lithium anodes for Lithium ion batteries (LIB) is controlling the formation of Li dendrites during cycling of the battery. Nanostructuring and nanopatterning of electrodes shows a promising way to suppress the growth of Li dendrites. However, in order to control this behavior, a fundamental understanding of the effect of nanopatterning on the electromechanical properties of Li metal is necessary. In this paper, we have investigated the mechanical and wear properties of Li metal using Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) in an airtight cell. By using different load regimes, we determined the mechanical properties of Limore » metal. Here, we show that as a result of nanopatterning, Li metal surface underwent work hardening due to residual compressive stress. The presence of such stresses can help to improve cycle lifetime of LIBs with Li anodes and obtain very high energy densities.« less
  5. Zinc adsorption and interfacial hydration on yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) surfaces in contact with aqueous zinc solutions at room temperature and neutral pH have been probed, with combined specular high-resolution X-ray reflectivity and element-specific (Zn) resonant anomalous X-ray reflectivity techniques. The total and partial zinc-Specific electron density profiles in the surface normal direction show the detailed interfacial hydration structures with zinc adsorption: Strongly depending on its crystallographic orientations, the YSZ (110) surface adsorbs zinc species only within adsorbed water layers above the terminal plane, while on (111) surface, zinc further-penetrates the substrate (below the terminal plane). Considering that both surfaces aremore » enriched with oxygen vacancies and metal-depleted sites; on which chemisorbed water species are expected, the observed contrast indicates that specific zinc adsorption is controlled strongly by the intrinsic surface chemistry that results from orientation-dependent interfacial structures.« less
  6. Here, we report the observation of ferroelectric and ferroelastic nanodomains in (110)-oriented BiFeO 3 (BFO) thin films epitaxially grown on low symmetric (100) NdGaO 3 (NGO) substrate. We observed long range ordering of ferroelectric 109° stripe nanodomains separated by periodic vertical domain walls in as-grown 130 nm thick BFO films. The effect of La 0.67Sr 0.33CoO 3 (LSCO) conducting interlayer on domain configurations in BFO/NGO film was also observed with relatively short range-ordering of stripe domains due to the modified electrostatic boundary conditions in BFO/LSCO/NGO film. Additional studies on B-site doping of Nb ions in BFO films showed change inmore » the domain structures due to doping induced change in lattice anisotropy while maintaining the stripe domain morphology with 109° domain wall. Finally, this long-range array of ferroelectric and ferroelastic domains can be useful for optoelectronic devices and ferroelastic templates for strain coupled artificial magnetoelectric heterostructures.« less
  7. Water interaction with surfaces is very important and plays key roles in many natural and technological processes. Because the experimental challenges that arise when studying the interaction water with specific crystalline surfaces, most studies on metal oxides have focused on powder samples, which averaged the interaction over different crystalline surfaces. As a result, studies on the crystal orientation-dependent interaction of water with metal oxides are rarely available in the literature. In this work, water adsorption at 8 mol % yttria-stabilized cubic single crystal zirconia (100) and (111) surfaces was studied in terms of interfacial hydration structures using high resolution X-raymore » reflectivity measurements. The interfacial electron density profiles derived from the structure factor analysis of the measured data show the existence of multiple layers of adsorbed water with additional peculiar metal adsorption near the oxide surfaces.Surface relaxation, depletion, and interaction between the adsorbed layers and bulk water are found to vary greatly between the two surfaces and are also different when compared to the previously studied (110) surface. The fractional ratio between chemisorbed and physisorbed water species were also quantitatively estimated, which turned out to vary dramatically from surface to surface. Finally, the result gives us a unique opportunity to reconsider the simplified 2:1 relation between chemisorption and physisorption, originally proposed by Morimoto et al. based on the adsorption isotherms of water on powder metal oxide samples.« less

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