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Engineering defects in crystalline materials enhance electrical performance.



Engineering defects in crystalline materials enhance electrical performance.

Xiaoli Tan and a university team used this transmission electron microscope at Ames Laboratory̵

7;s Sensitive Instrument Facility to study the effects of engineering defects in some materials. Credit: Christopher Gannon.

Materials engineers don’t like seeing line defects in functional materials.

Structural defects along one-dimensional atomic lines generally reduce the efficiency of electrical materials. science Report a linear defect or discrepancy “Usually avoided at all costs”

But sometimes a team of researchers from Europe Iowa State University and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory. report in that document Engineering those defects in some oxide crystals can actually increase the electrical performance.

The research team was led by Jürgen Rödel and Jurij Koruza from the Technical University of Darmstadt in Germany. Some defects were found to have resulted in significant improvements in two important electrical performance measurements in barium titanate, a crystalline ceramic material.

Xiaoli Tan, professor of materials science and engineering at Iowa State And research collaborator with Rödel said: “By applying these defects in materials, we can change, modify or improve the material’s functional properties.

In this case, the engineering defect increased the dielectric properties fivefold. It has a 19-fold increase in piezoelectric properties (which creates an internal electric field when subjected to mechanical stress), Tan said.

Special tools for special measurements

In addition to Tan, two other Iowa researchers have also assisted the project’s international research team exploring fundamental materials questions: Lin Zhou, a materials science and engineering scientist and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory, and Binzhi Liu, a materials doctoral student. science and engineering

with support from the National Science Foundation The trio have supported their expertise in transmission electron microscopy. It is a technology that can show the structure and properties of a material by shooting an electron beam through a thin sample and recording it. The image is much higher resolution than a light microscope. and can show small details down to the level of individual atoms

The key to the project is Ames Laboratory’s sensitive instrument, built in collaboration with the state of Iowa. The building was built in 2015 for nearly $10 million from the Department of Energy. Provides a vibration- and static-free environment for electron microscopy at the highest resolution.

“It’s a state-of-the-art electron microscope probe,” Zhou said. “It provides an ultra-stable environment so that we can achieve atomic-level images of materials and at the same time obtain chemical information.

“It’s a great platform to research and educate the next generation of materials scientists.”

Which material is better for capacitors?

for this project The electron microscopy team quantified evidence showing that line defects in crystalline materials can enhance electrical performance, Liu said.

The numbers show “Tolerances can significantly alter the behavior of other fine properties in materials,” Liu said.

Tan said the discovery could have a big impact on the electrolytic capacitor industry.

There are hundreds of capacitors in your cell phone, and the market for them is huge, Tan said. The ceramic materials tested in this project are widely used in capacitors. But improving the electrical performance caused by defects could make it better. It’s also lead-free and less toxic than other material options.

Therefore, the researchers wrote that These production line defects can turn into This “different toolkit to customize functional materials” and this “functional harvesting” could be good for our electronics. even our environment and health


Nano-scale defects can increase energy storage materials


More information:
Marion Höfling et al, Control of polarization in a large number of ferroelectrics by printing mechanical tolerances, science (2021). doi:10.1126/science.abe3810

Provided by Iowa State University



Reference: Engineering Flaws in Electrically Enhanced Crystalline Materials (2021, May 27). Retrieved May 28, 2021 from https://phys.org/news/2021-05-defects-crystalline-material-boost-electrical.html.

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