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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 Spring Meeting & Exhibit

April 17-21, 2017
Phoenix, Arizona, USA
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May 2017

2017 E-MRS Spring Meeting and Exhibit

May 22-26, 2017
Strasbourg, France
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Upcoming Group Seminars

High precision fabrication for light managment at nanoscale - Abstract
Speaker: Saulius Juodkazis
Date: Monday 27 March 2017 16:15
Room: OFLG/402

Speaker: LMX Meeting: Naëmi Leo
Date: Wednesday 5 April 2017 9:30
Room: OHSA/E13

Much ado about nothings: the behaviour of oxygen vacancies in SrTiO3 - Abstract
Speaker: Roger De Souza
Date: Monday 24 April 2017 16:30
Room: OFLG/402

Speaker: LMX Meeting: T. Lippert
Date: Wednesday 3 May 2017 9:30
Room: OHSA/E13


Most recent Paper

Kenta Shimamoto, Saumya Mukherjee, Sebastian Manz, Jonathan S. White, Morgan Trassin, Michel Kenzelmann, Laurent Chapon, Thomas Lippert, Manfred Fiebig, Christof W. Schneider and Christof Niedermayer
Tuning the multiferroic mechanisms of TbMnO3 by epitaxial strain
Sci. Rep. 7, 44753 (2017)

20 March 2017

Tuning the multiferroic mechanisms of TbMnO3 by epitaxial strain

A current challenge in the field of magnetoelectric multiferroics is to identify systems that allow a controlled tuning of states displaying distinct magnetoelectric responses. Here we show that the multiferroic ground state of the archetypal multiferroic TbMnO3 is dramatically modified by epitaxial strain. Neutron diffraction reveals that in highly strained films the magnetic order changes from the bulk-like incommensurate bc-cycloidal structure to commensurate magnetic order. Concomitant with the modification of the magnetic ground state, optical second-harmonic generation (SHG) and electric measurements show an enormous increase of the ferroelectric polarization, and a change in its direction from along the c- to the a-axis. Our results suggest that the drastic change of multiferroic properties results from a switch of the spin-current magnetoelectric coupling in bulk TbMnO3 to symmetric magnetostriction in epitaxially-strained TbMnO3. These findings experimentally demonstrate that epitaxial strain can be used to control single-phase spin-driven multiferroic states.
Keywords: multiferroics; thin films; strain; PLD; magnetic ordering; second harmonic generation;

Facility: NUM, LNS, LDM, LMX, Thin Films and Interfaces, ETHZ, ILL

Reference: K. Shimamoto et al., Sci. Rep. 7, 44753 (2017)

Read full article: here