Polish Academy of Sciences (PL)
The main objective of the project is development of complex transition metal oxides with perovskite-like structure having improved and controllable (multi)ferroic properties. The mentioned materials are manganites and ferrites with optimal composition having distinct magnetization, polarization, (magneto)transport properties and/or magnetoelectric coupling. The idea of the project is to utilize reduced structural stability of these oxides governed by multiple structural state (Fig. 1) which increases their sensitivity to external stimuli.
Fig. 2: The XRD pattern of the Pr-doped BiFeO3 compound with composition near the phase boundary. The inset shows an evolution of the structural peaks attributed to the different structural phases
Improved functional properties of these oxides can be controlled via modification of the chemical bond character, structural parameters, stoichiometry, defects etc. The reduced stability is associated with the metastable structural state formed in the vicinity of the phase boundaries, while this state presumably consists of coexistent nanoscale regions of the adjacent structural phases (Fig. 2).
The Project realization is based on the two main scientific approaches aimed at the creation of metastable state of the compounds: the first one considers a design of ceramics via chemical substitution and post-synthesis treatment by high pressure and/or thermal cycling in gases to induce nanoscale regions, the second one assumes chemical routes synthesis of the films and ceramics.
Besides the fundamental interest of the Project associated with the phase transitions and related phenomena affecting properties of the oxides the scientific teams consider the compounds under study to be effective materials for electronic applications (as magnetic/electric field sensors, magnetic memory elements, filters etc). Research of these materials requires consolidative efforts of specialists in different scientific areas - Materials Science, Theoretical Physics, Solid State Physics etc. as well as an access to unique equipment and facilities.
Another important objective of the Project is a formation of interdisciplinary network of teams and specialists with different scientific backgrounds which will ensure effective transfer of actual knowledge and skills. Development of the transition metal oxides with controllable properties has promising commercial opportunities for the involved commercial company.