Synchrotron and Neutron Users' Group  




A Major Discovery for Tiny Devices

Synchrotron-based research has shown that the ability to generate and hold a switchable electric field (ferroelectric behavior) is possible in materials as thin as 1.2 nanometers (one-billionth of a meter, several hundred thousand times smaller than the period at the end of this sentence).

Ferroelectric thin films have a broad range of applications for both military and industrial equipment including specialized light and infra-red sensors, memory systems involving holographic optical storage of unprecedented capacity, tuneable microwave components (useful for phase-array radar), and microelectromechanical systems.

The technological potential of these materials depends on maintaining stable ferroelectric properties as electronic devices continue to be miniaturized.  Studying such devices requires synchrotron-based techniques.





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