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The Thin Films and Interfaces Group

Thin films are nowadays utilized in many applications, ranging from semiconductor devices to optical coatings and are even present in pharmaceuticals (polymers). This wide-spread application of films with thicknesses from atomic monolayers to microns is due to the developments of thin film deposition techniques. Thin films are also important for studies of materials with new and unique properties due to the possibility of tuning their crystallographic and morphological properties. The thin film approach, i.e. the presence of interfaces (to a substrate or the film surface) adds more degrees of freedom for influencing the properties of materials, e.g. by lattice strain or surface functionalization. For these fundamental studies of material properties large research facilities such as synchrotron radiation or neutron spallation sources are one of the keys that the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) provides. Read more Top

PhD projects at the Thin Films and Interfaces Group

At present, we do not have open PhD positions available. As soon as we have details will be posted at our open position page. Other open positions are always published on the PSI Open Positions page.


Upcoming Conference

2017 MRS Fall Meeting & Exhibit

November 26-December 1, 2017
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
More Information

Upcoming Group Seminars

Speaker: Dr. Kulbir Kaur Ghuman
International Institute for Carbon Neutral Energy Research, Kyushu University

Date: Monday 23 Oktober 2017 16:30
Room: OFLG/402

Strategies for Artificial Photosynthesis: Molecular vs. Heterogeneous Water Oxidation Catalysts - Abstract
Speaker: Prof. Dr. Greta R. Patzke
Department of Chemistry, University of Zurich

Date: Monday 06 November 2017 16:30
Room: OFLG/402

Speaker: LMX Meeting: Manuel Pouchon
Date: Tuesday 07 November 2017 10:00
Room: ODRA/111

Most recent Paper

Aline Fluri, Elisa Gilardi, Maths Karlsson, Vladimir Roddatis, Marco Bettinelli, Ivano E. Castelli, Thomas Lippert, and Daniele Pergolesi
Anisotropic Proton and Oxygen Ion Conductivity in Epitaxial Ba2In2O5 Thin Films
J. Phys. Chem. C, 121 (40), 21797 (2017)

17 October 2017

Anisotropic Proton and Oxygen Ion Conductivity in Epitaxial Ba2In2O5 Thin Films

Solid oxide oxygen ion and proton conductors are a highly important class of materials for renewable energy conversion devices like solid oxide fuel cells. Ba2In2O5 (BIO) exhibits both oxygen ion and proton conduction, in a dry and humid environment, respectively. In a dry environment, the brownmillerite crystal structure of BIO exhibits an ordered oxygen ion sublattice, which has been speculated to result in anisotropic oxygen ion conduction. The hydrated structure of BIO, however, resembles a perovskite and the protons in it were predicted to be ordered in layers. To complement the significant theoretical and experimental efforts recently reported on the potentially anisotropic conductive properties in BIO, we measure here both the proton and oxygen ion conductivity along different crystallographic directions. Using epitaxial thin films with different crystallographic orientations, the charge transport for both charge carriers is shown to be anisotropic. The anisotropy of the oxygen ion conduction can indeed be explained by the layered structure of the oxygen sublattice of BIO. The anisotropic proton conduction, however, further supports the suggested ordering of the protonic defects in the material. The differences in proton conduction along different crystallographic directions attributed to proton ordering in BIO are of a similar extent as those observed along different crystallographic directions in materials where proton ordering is not present but where protons find preferential conduction pathways through chainlike or layered structures.
Keywords: proton conductors; ion conductors; thin film; pulsed laser deposition; anisotropic conductivity;

Facility: Thin Films and Interfaces, LMX, ETHZ, Chalmers University of Technology, University of Goettingen, University of Verona,Technical University of Denmark

Reference: A. Fluri et al., J. Phys. Chem. C, 121 (40), 21797 (2017)

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