This project focuses on the development of new artificial layered materials that advance the fundamental understanding of nanoscience at the atomic level. These materials have applications in next generation devices (spintronic and orbitronic) which have been predicted to display significant improvements in device speed and energy efficiency over conventional electronic devices. The key lies in harnessing the unexpected physical phenomena that result from the changes in structure and chemistry which occur over nanometer scales at surfaces and interfaces of perovskite oxides. Outreach activities include support for the UC Davis Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Transfer Day which targets educationally disadvantaged and underrepresented groups from Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement programs in Northern California.
TECHNICAL DETAILS: The goal of this project is to develop a fundamental understanding of interfacial phenomena such as exchange coupling interactions at interfaces between ferromagnetic and antiferromagnetic layers. Perovskite oxides are ideal candidate materials for these studies due to their wide range of functional properties that result from the strong coupling between the charge, spin, orbital, and lattice degrees of freedom. In addition, they possess a large number of cations and growth parameters that can be used to manipulate their properties. The approach of this work utilizes laser-assisted growth to control interfacial properties with atomic layer precision in combination with state-of-the-art techniques for characterizing their structural, chemical, and functional properties over multiple length scales. In addition, geometric confinement effects as these materials are patterned down to nanoscale dimensions are being investigated. These results are enabling the development of predictive models of the emergent interfacial properties at dimensions relevant for device applications The participating graduate and undergraduate students are gaining hands-on training in disciplines that lie at the intersection between the traditional fields of Materials Science and Engineering, Physics, and Electrical Engineering through the introduction to state-of-the-art synthesis, sophisticated characterization techniques, and theoretical calculations.