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DOE Pulse

Finding could rock electronics industry

Electronic devices of the future could be smaller, faster, more powerful and consume less energy because of a discovery by researchers at DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The key to the finding involves a method to measure intrinsic conducting properties of ferroelectric materials, which for decades have held tremendous promise but have eluded experimental proof. Now, however, ORNL Wigner Fellow Peter Maksymovych and co-authors Stephen Jesse, Art Baddorf and Sergei Kalinin at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences believe they may be on a path that will see barriers tumble.

The authors have demonstrated for the first time a giant intrinsic electroresistance in conventional ferroelectric films, where flipping of the spontaneous polarization increased conductance by up to 50,000 percent. Ferroelectric materials can retain their electrostatic polarization and are used for piezoactuators, memory devices and RFID (radio-frequency identification) cards.

[Ron Walli,865.576.0226,]