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Professor Darrell Schlom publishes two papers in Science

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Professor Darrell Schlom

Publishing one paper in Science is never a small feat, but Professor Darrell Schlom has two papers he has co-authored featured in the current issue of Science.

The first is titled, "Giant Piezoelectricity on Si for Hyeractive MEMS."

Abstract is as follows: Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) incorporating active piezoelectric layers offer integrated actuation, sensing, and transduction. The broad implementation of such active MEMS has long been constrained by the inability to integrate materials with giant piezoelectric response, such as Pb(Mg1/3Nb2/3)O3-PbTiO3 (PMN-PT). We synthesized high-quality PMN-PT epitaxial thin films on vicinal (001) Si wafers with the use of an epitaxial (001) SrTiO3 template layer with superior piezoelectric coefficients (e31,f = –27 T 3 coulombs per square meter) and figures of merit for piezoelectric energy-harvesting systems. We have incorporated these heterostructures into microcantilevers that are actuated with extremely low drive voltage due to thin-film piezoelectric properties that rival bulk PMN-PT single crystals. These epitaxial heterostructures exhibit very large electromechanical coupling for ultrasound medical imaging, microfluidic control, mechanical sensing, and energy harvesting.

The second is titled, "Domain Dynamics During Ferroelectric Switching".

Abstract is as follows: The utility of ferroelectric materials stems from the ability to nucleate and move polarized domains using an electric field. To understand the mechanisms of polarization switching, structural characterization at the nanoscale is required. We used aberration-corrected transmission electron microscopy to follow the kinetics and dynamics of ferroelectric switching at millisecond temporal and subangstrom spatial resolution in an epitaxial bilayer of an antiferromagnetic ferroelectric (BiFeO3) on a ferromagnetic electrode (La0.7Sr0.3MnO3). We observed localized nucleation events at the electrode interface, domain wall pinning on point defects, and the formation of ferroelectric domains localized to the ferroelectric and ferromagnetic interface. These results show how defects and interfaces impede full ferroelectric switching of a thin film.

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