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Primeur weekly 2020-01-13

Focus

Ambitious plans for e-IRG, EOSC and EuroHPC under Croatian EU Presidency - Interview with Ivan Maric, SRCE, Croatia ...

Quantum computing

Delta partners with IBM to explore quantum computing - an airline industry first ...

IBM working with over 100 organisations to advance practical quantum computing ...

New quantum loop provides long national testbed for quantum communication technology ...

The case of the elusive Majorana: The so-called 'angel particle' is still a mystery ...

World's first quantum-safe connected car secured by ISARA ...

Georgia Tech collaborates with IBM to develop software stacks for quantum computers ...

New York University partners with IBM to explore quantum computing for simulation of quantum systems and advancing quantum education ...

Focus on Europe

Barcelona Supercomputing Center coordinates the manufacture of the first open source chip developed in Spain ...

Atos empowers researchers at the University of Luxembourg with its BullSequana XH2000 supercomputer ...

Solemn inauguration of the HLRN-IV system ...

The European Commission is looking for IT specialists in HPC, Quantum, Infrastructure and Cloud ...

Dr. Alice-Agnes Gabriel wins 2020 PRACE Ada Lovelace Award for HPC ...

Middleware

Altair acquires newFASANT, further expanding high-frequency electromagnetics portfolio ...

Hardware

ECMWF signs contract with Atos for new supercomputer ...

World High Performance Computing (HPC) markets to 2025 - AI, IoT, and 5G will be major drivers for HPC growth as they facilitate the need to process vast amounts of data ...

IDC MarketScape names WekaIO as a major player in file-based storage ...

200G HDR InfiniBand to accelerate the new European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) supercomputer ...

Applications

Frederick National Laboratory part of SC19 "Best Paper" team ...

Hyperion Research expands its analyst team ...

Supercomputer simulations showcase novel planet formation models ...

Satellite constellations harvest energy for near-total global coverage ...

Exploring the 'dark side' of a single-crystal complex oxide thin film ...

Sublimation, not melting: Graphene surprises researchers again ...

Persistence of gut microbial strains in twins, living apart after cohabitating for decades ...

Kun Sun and Sushil Jajodia receive funding for subcontract agreement ...

Decrappifying brain images with deep learning ...

Xylem expands regional headquarters in Singapore with new Technology Hub ...

The Cloud

Intel brings innovation to life with intelligent tech spanning the Cloud, network, edge and PC at CES 2020 ...

Los Alamos National Laboratory joins IBM Q Network to explore quantum computing algorithms and education outreach ...

Exploring the 'dark side' of a single-crystal complex oxide thin film


Argonne scientists have looked at the local ferroelectric properties of the bottom atomic layers of freestanding complex oxide PZT detached from the epitaxial substrate. Credit: Argonne National Laboratory.
6 Jan 2020 Argonne - Analysis from a team led by Argonne researchers reveals never-before-seen details about a type of thin film being explored for advanced microelectronics.

Research from a team led by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory offers a new, nanoscopic view of complex oxides, which are promising for advanced microelectronics.

Complex oxides are multifunctional materials that could eventually lead to energy-efficient, advanced electronic memory components and quantum computing devices. Generally, these materials are produced layer-by-layer on an atomically matched substrate, a process known as epitaxial growth.

"Our study shows that this material is ready to go for future microelectronic applications, but it will require further research on ways to avoid these ripples", stated Saidur Rahman Bakaul, Argonne assistant materials scientist.

To use complex oxides in electronics, they need to be produced on silicon - an impossible task for existing epitaxial growth techniques, since the atomic structures of these two materials do not match. One possible workaround is to grow the complex oxides elsewhere and then transfer the film to another substrate. However, a key question arises: Will the local properties of a complex oxide thin film remain intact if you lift it from one substrate and deposit it on another?

The new research reveals insights about freestanding complex oxides that could eventually create an entirely new research field: complex oxide microelectronics. The work is detailed in a paper, " Ferroelectric Domain Wall Motion in Freestanding Single Crystal Complex Oxide Thin Film ", recently published in the journalAdvanced Materials.

Using scanning probe microscopy, the team studied lead zirconium titanate (PZT), a type of single-crystal complex oxide ferroelectric thin film. Such single-crystal films have properties ideal for microelectronics - they are highly polarized, endurable and fast-switchable, making them suitable for future ferroelectric random-access memory chips, for example.

Growing these thin films requires temperatures of about 700°C (1292°F), which deteriorates the interfacial layer's properties if directly grown on silicon. So the researchers grew the PZT on a more amenable substrate - a base of strontium titanate (STO) with a "sacrificial layer" of lanthanum strontium manganite (LSMO) sandwiched in between. To transfer the PZT thin film to another substrate, the researchers broke the bonds that united it with the LSMO.

"PZT grows beautifully on LSMO", stated Saidur Rahman Bakaul, an assistant materials scientist at Argonne who led the study. "We wanted to see what happens if we cut that interface."

After transforming the PZT into a freestanding film, the research team flipped the film over and gently redeposited it onto an identical STO-LSMO substrate. This allowed for a first-ever view of PZT's detached underside.

"It's like looking at the other side of the moon, which you normally don't see", Saidur Rahman Bakaul stated.

The team used electrostatic force microscopy with 20-nanometer-radius probes to measure the material's local ferroelectric properties. Their analysis showed the local static properties of the bottom surface of freestanding PZT were quite similar compared to those of the top surface. This finding, Saidur Rahman Bakaul said, is very encouraging for future complex oxide microelectronics, because it confirms that the interfacial surface of the transferred PZT film is a high-quality ferroelectric layer. That means the transfer technique should be able to combine the best materials from different worlds, such as PZT (ferroelectric) and silicon (semiconductors). So far, no direct growth technique has achieved this without damaging the interfacial surface.

Using piezoresponse force microscopy images, scientists found that the detached layer's ferroelectric domain wall velocity - a measure of the electrostatic energy landscape of complex oxides - was almost 1000 times slower than strongly bonded as-grown PZT films.

To find out why, the team first examined the atomic layers at the bottom surface of the PZT film with atomic force microscopy, which revealed anomalies on the surface. For an even closer look, they turned to Argonne's Center for Nanoscale Materials and Advanced Photon Source, both DOE Office of Science User Facilities, to use their joint hard X-ray nanoprobe to see the tilts in atomic planes, revealing never-before-seen ripples.

The ripples, Saidur Rahman Bakaul said, rise to the height of only a millionth of a pinhead's diameter, but still can create a strong electric field that keeps the domain wall from moving, the theoretical analysis revealed. This claim was further supported with measurements from a scanning capacitance microscope.

The presence of such structural ripples in complex oxides, which used to be known as nonbendable ceramics, is an exciting new scientific discovery and a future playground to explore strong strain gradient-induced physical phenomena such as flexoelectric effects. However, in microelectronic devices, these tiny ripples can induce device-to-device variability.

The work, which was supported by DOE's Office of Basic Energy Sciences, offers a unique and important level of detail about the properties of freestanding complex oxide thin films.

"Our study shows that this material is ready to go for future microelectronic applications", Saidur Rahman Bakaul said, "but it will require further research on ways to avoid these ripples."

Source: DOE/Argonne National Laboratory

Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2020-01-13

Focus

Ambitious plans for e-IRG, EOSC and EuroHPC under Croatian EU Presidency - Interview with Ivan Maric, SRCE, Croatia ...

Quantum computing

Delta partners with IBM to explore quantum computing - an airline industry first ...

IBM working with over 100 organisations to advance practical quantum computing ...

New quantum loop provides long national testbed for quantum communication technology ...

The case of the elusive Majorana: The so-called 'angel particle' is still a mystery ...

World's first quantum-safe connected car secured by ISARA ...

Georgia Tech collaborates with IBM to develop software stacks for quantum computers ...

New York University partners with IBM to explore quantum computing for simulation of quantum systems and advancing quantum education ...

Focus on Europe

Barcelona Supercomputing Center coordinates the manufacture of the first open source chip developed in Spain ...

Atos empowers researchers at the University of Luxembourg with its BullSequana XH2000 supercomputer ...

Solemn inauguration of the HLRN-IV system ...

The European Commission is looking for IT specialists in HPC, Quantum, Infrastructure and Cloud ...

Dr. Alice-Agnes Gabriel wins 2020 PRACE Ada Lovelace Award for HPC ...

Middleware

Altair acquires newFASANT, further expanding high-frequency electromagnetics portfolio ...

Hardware

ECMWF signs contract with Atos for new supercomputer ...

World High Performance Computing (HPC) markets to 2025 - AI, IoT, and 5G will be major drivers for HPC growth as they facilitate the need to process vast amounts of data ...

IDC MarketScape names WekaIO as a major player in file-based storage ...

200G HDR InfiniBand to accelerate the new European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) supercomputer ...

Applications

Frederick National Laboratory part of SC19 "Best Paper" team ...

Hyperion Research expands its analyst team ...

Supercomputer simulations showcase novel planet formation models ...

Satellite constellations harvest energy for near-total global coverage ...

Exploring the 'dark side' of a single-crystal complex oxide thin film ...

Sublimation, not melting: Graphene surprises researchers again ...

Persistence of gut microbial strains in twins, living apart after cohabitating for decades ...

Kun Sun and Sushil Jajodia receive funding for subcontract agreement ...

Decrappifying brain images with deep learning ...

Xylem expands regional headquarters in Singapore with new Technology Hub ...

The Cloud

Intel brings innovation to life with intelligent tech spanning the Cloud, network, edge and PC at CES 2020 ...

Los Alamos National Laboratory joins IBM Q Network to explore quantum computing algorithms and education outreach ...