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Researchers Observe a Surprising Source of Conductivity

scanning TEM of the interface between germanium and LSZTO

Scanning transmission electron micrograph of the interface between germanium (bottom) and LSZTO (top).

Credit: Scott Chambers / PNNL

A research team probing the properties of a semiconductor combined with a novel thin oxide film have observed a surprising source of electrical conductivity from oxygen atoms trapped inside.

Scott Chambers, a materials scientist at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, will report the team's discovery at the Spring 2022 meeting of the American Physical Society. The research is described in the journal Physical Review Materials.

The discovery has broad implications for understanding the role of thin oxide films in future semiconductor design and manufacture. The samples prepared by the researchers use techniques and scientific discoveries that are expected to pay dividends in the longer term, Chambers says. The knowledge will help materials scientists and physicists better understand how to design new semiconductor material systems with useful properties.

From Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
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