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Ho-Hum to High Performance: Boring Material Could Lead to Electronics Revolution


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thin film of europium titanate

Cornell researchers made a thin film of europium titanate ferromagnetic and ferroelectric by "stretching" it. They did it by depositing the material on an underlying substrate with a larger spacing between its atoms.

Credit: Cornell University

Cornell University researchers have found that when the oxide compound europium titanate is sliced nanometers thin and stretched on a specially designed template, it takes on properties that could revolutionize the electronics industry.

The researchers found that europium titanate becomes electrically polarized and exhibits a permanent magnetic field when it is laid out and stretched across a substrate of dysprosium scandate. This combination of properties could form the basis for low-power, highly sensitive magnetic memory, magnetic sensors, or highly tunable microwave devices.

"Our strategy is to use first-principles theory to look among materials that are neither ferromagnetic nor ferroelectric, of which there are many, and to identify candidates that, when squeezed or stretched, will take on these properties," says Cornell professor Craig Fennie.

From Cornell Chronicle
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