A multi-institutional team of researchers, led by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has provided the first atomic-scale insights into the ferroelectric properties of nanocrystals. This breakthrough is critical for the development of the next generation of data storage devices as one-inch chips storing terabytes of data. Working with the world’s most powerful transmission electron microscope, the researchers mapped the ferroelectric structural distortions in nanocrystals of germanium telluride, a semiconductor, and barium titanate, an insulator.
Atomic-resolution images of germanium telluride nanoparticles from Berkeley Lab’s TEAM I electron microscope, and electron holographic images of barium titanate nanoparticles (below) from BNL yielded the first detailed experimental information on ferroelectric order at the nanoscale.
“As we scale down our device technology from the microscale to the nanoscale, we need a better understanding of how critical material properties, such as ferroelectric behavior, are impacted,” says Paul Alivisatos, director of Berkeley Lab and one of the principal investigators in this research. “Our results provide a pathway to unraveling the fundamental physics of nanoscale ferroelectricity at the smallest possible size scales.”
Let's remind similar researches by an IBM team, described in a Nanocomputer.com former article. http://www.nanocomputer.com/?p=1620, and by a french team from CNRS-Paris. http://www.nanocomputer.com/?p=2590