The Thin Films and Interfaces Group
Woman in Science
Congratulations to our former postdoc, Alexandra Palla-Papavlu (4th from the left), for winning the L’Oreal Prize for Woman in Science(link is external) in the category Physics in Romania
Special interview with Prof. Thomas Lippert and Prof. Tatsumi Ishi
Special interview with Prof. Thomas Lippert (PSI and Principle Investigator at I2CNER, Kyushu University) and Prof. Tatsumi Ishihara (Associate Director I2CNER, Kyushu University) on Current and Future Energy Research and Development in Europe: Perspectives from Switzerland, Germany and Japan. The interview is being published in the August 2017 issue of the Energy Outlook of the International Institut for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research, I2CNER.
Zigzag or spiral-shaped nanostructures improve mechanical stability in yttria-stabilized zirconia membranes for micro-energy co
Free-standing solid-state ion conducting thin film membranes are key components in micro-energy conversion devices such as micro-solid oxide fuel cells or electrolyzers. Through this work, we explore the design and fabrication of thin film architectures with either straight, zigzag or spiral-shaped columnar grain nanostructures of 8 mol% doped Yttria stabilized zirconia (8YSZ) in order to modify the ceramics elastic properties and mechanical stability for MEMS integration. We report that the zigzag and spiral-shaped nanomorphologies' can be engineered with a ∼44% reduced elastic modulus. Ultimately, this results in an increased fabrication yield when the thin ionic conductor thin film structures are turned into free-standing membranes as required for different micro energy converter applications.
Electronic localization in CaVO3 films via bandwidth control
Understanding and controlling the electronic structure of thin layers of quantum materials is a crucial first step towards designing heterostructures where new phases and phenomena, including the metal-insulator transition (MIT), emerge. Here, we demonstrate control of the MIT via tuning electronic bandwidth and local site environment through selection of the number of atomic layers deposited.
Emergent magnetic monopole dynamics in macroscopically degenerate artificial spin ice
Magnetic monopoles, proposed as elementary particles that act as isolated magnetic south and north poles, have long attracted research interest as magnetic analogs to electric charge. In solid-state physics, a classical analog to these elusive particles has emerged as topological excitations within pyrochlore spin ice systems. We present the first real-time imaging of emergent magnetic monopole motion in a macroscopically degenerate artificial spin ice system consisting of thermally activated Ising-type nanomagnets lithographically arranged onto a pre-etched silicon substrate. factors are observed.
Improved Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting of CaNbO2N Photoanodes by CoPi Photodeposition and Surface Passivation
Photoelectrochemical (PEC) solar water splitting is a promising approach to convert solar energy into sustainable hydrogen fuel using semiconductor electrodes. Owing to their visible light absorption properties, oxynitrides have shown to be attractive photocatalysts for this application. In this study, the influence of the preparation method of CaNbO2N particles on their morphological and optical properties, and thereby their PEC performance, is investigated. The best performing CaNbO2N photoanode is produced by ammonolysis of Nb-enriched calcium niobium oxide.
Oxynitride Thin Films versus Particle-Based Photoanodes: A Comparative Study for Photoelectrochemical Solar Water Splitting
The solar water splitting process assisted by semiconductor photocatalysts attracts growing research interests worldwide for the production of hydrogen as a clean and sustainable energy carrier. Because of their optical and electrical properties, several oxynitride materials show great promise for the fabrication of efficient photocatalysts for solar water splitting. This study reports a comparative investigation of particle- and thin-film-based photocatalysts using three different oxynitride materials.
Highly selective surface acoustic wave e-nose implemented by laser direct writing
In this paper, we present an e-nose for the detection of volatile compounds based on an array of six surface acoustic wave (SAW) resonators coated with five different polymers (i.e. polyepichlorohydrin, polyisobutylene, polyethylenimine, (hydroxypropyl)methyl cellulose, and poly(styrene-co-maleic acid) partial isobutyl/methyl mixed ester, plus an uncoated SAW device used as reference.
Relationship between crystal structure and multiferroic orders in orthorhombic perovskite manganites
We use resonant and nonresonant x-ray diffraction measurements in combination with first-principles electronic structure calculations and Monte Carlo simulations to study the relationship between crystal structure and multiferroic orders in the orthorhombic perovskite manganites, o−RMnO3 (R is a rare-earth cation or Y).
Rolling dopant and strain in Y-doped BiFeO3 epitaxial thin films for photoelectrochemical water splitting
We report significant photoelectrochemical activity of Y-doped BiFeO3 (Y-BFO) epitaxial thin films deposited on Nb:SrTiO3 substrates. The Y-BFO photoanodes exhibit a strong dependence of the photocurrent values on the thickness of the films, and implicitly on the induced epitaxial strain.
Influence of Plume Properties on Thin Film Composition in Pulsed Laser Deposition
Despite the apparent simplicity of pulsed laser deposition, consistent deposition of thin films with the desired thickness, composition, crystallinity, and quality still remains challenging. This article explores the influence of process parameters with respect to film thickness and composition, two key aspects for thin films which have a very strong effect on film properties, possible applications, and characterization.
PhD projects at the Thin Films and Interfaces Group
Zigzag or spiral-shaped nanostructures improve mechanical stability in yttria-stabilized zirconia membranes for micro-energy conversion devices
Nano Energy 59, 674–682 (2019)