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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 Group Seminars

Speaker: Fatima Haydous
Date: Monday 4 June 2018 13:00
LAC PhD exam public presentation

Speaker: C. Lawley
Date: Monday 4 June 2018 16:00
Room: OFLG/402, TFI

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.
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Most recent Paper

Daniele Pergolesi, Elisa Gilardi, Emiliana Fabbri, Vladimir Roddatis, George F. Harrington, Thomas Lippert, John A. Kilner, and Enrico Traversa
Interface Effects on the Ionic Conductivity of Doped Ceria−Yttria-Stabilized Zirconia Heterostructures
ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 10, 14160−14169 (2018)

16 March 2018

Stress generation and evolution in oxide heteroepitaxy

Multilayered heterostructures of Ce0.85Sm0.15O2−δ and Y0.16Zr0.92O2−δ of a high crystallographic quality were fabricated on (001)-oriented MgO single crystal substrates. Keeping the total thickness of the heterostructures constant, the number of ceria–zirconia bilayers was increased while reducing the thickness of each layer. At each interface Ce was found primarily in the reduced, 3+ oxidation state in a layer extending about 2 nm from the interface. Concurrently, the conductivity decreased as the thickness of the layers was reduced, suggesting a progressive confinement of the charge transport along the YSZ layers. The comparative analysis of the in-plane electrical characterization suggests that the contribution to the total electrical conductivity of these interfacial regions is negligible. For the smallest layer thickness of 2 nm the doped ceria layers are electrically insulating and the ionic transport only occurs through the zirconia layers. This is explained in terms of a reduced mobility of the oxygen vacancies in the highly reduced ceria.
Keywords: pulsed laser deposition; thin films; ceria; zirconia; fuel cells; interfaces; heterostructures;

Facility: Thin Films and Interfaces, LMX, ETHZ, University of Göttingen, Imperial College London, University of Kyushu, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China,University of Rome Tor Vergata

Reference: D. Pergolesi et al., ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 10, 14160−14169 (2018)

Read full article: [here]