Synthesizing Discovery: from basic understanding to functional applications
Thomas Zac Ward, Materials Science and Technology Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, USA
In the field of materials physics, the grand challenge is to design materials with desired properties. In this colloquium, I will discuss how we use atomically precise synthesis techniques to create specifically tailored interfaces, generate synthetic lattice distortions not present in nature, and apply artificial confinement strategies to disentangle electronic correlations in complex oxides. This class of materials possesses a wealth of functionally promising characteristics, such as metal-insulator transitions, ferroelectricity, colossal magnetoresistance, and high temperature superconductivity. I will describe our research progression as we have moved from working to isolate and observe previously hidden mesoscopic phenomena in these materials towards designing approaches that allow tuning of each of the individual order parameters to better understand the fundamental coupling mechanisms. The ability to control these parameters locally provides a path toward writing multiple functionalities into single crystalline wafers. I will close by outlining how this work opens new materials-by-design strategies, and how this may provide the multi-stimulus/multi-response framework to put forward as a route beyond Moore’s Law.
Supported by the US DOE Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Materials Sciences and Engineering Division