PRESS-NEWS.org - Press Release Distribution
PRESS RELEASES DISTRIBUTION

Rice engineers tackle hard-to-map class of materials

Technique could help tap 2D van der Waals ferroelectrics for use in next-generation electronics

Rice engineers tackle hard-to-map class of materials
2023-12-04
(Press-News.org) HOUSTON – (Dec. 4th, 2023) – The properties that make materials like semiconductors so sought after result from the way their atoms are connected, and insight into these atomic configurations can help scientists design new materials or use existing materials in new, unforeseen ways.

Rice University materials scientist Yimo Han and collaborators mapped out the structural features of a 2D ferroelectric material made of tin and selenium atoms, showing how domains ⎯ areas of the material in which molecules are identically oriented ⎯ impact the behavior of the material.

“Ferroelectric materials are widely used in applications such as memories and sensors, and they will likely be increasingly useful for building next-generation nanoelectronics and in-memory computing,” said Chuqiao Shi, a Rice graduate student in the Han lab and lead author on a study published in Nature Communications. “That’s because 2D ferroelectric materials have remarkable properties and are characterized by their atomic thinness and enhanced integration capabilities.”

In ferroelectric materials, molecules are polarized, and they also segregate and align based on polarization. Moreover, 2D ferroelectrics change shape in response to electrical stimuli ⎯ a phenomenon known as flexoelectricity. In the tin-selenium crystal that is the focus of this research, molecules self-organize into patches or domains, and the flexoelectric effect causes these to move, giving rise to structural shifts in the material that impact its properties and behavior.

“It’s really important that we understand the intricate relationship between atomic structure and electric polarization, which is a critical feature in ferroelectric materials,” said Han, an assistant professor of materials science and nanoengineering. “This domain-dependent structure can be very useful for engineers to figure out how to best use the material and rely on its properties to design applications.”

Unlike conventional ferroelectrics in which atoms are bound by a rigid lattice, in the tin-selenite crystal studied by Han and Shi, the forces that bind the atoms together are weaker, giving the atomic lattice a more supple and pliant quality.

“The material belongs to a special class of 2D materials known as van der Waals ferroelectrics, whose properties could serve to design next-generation, ultra-thin data storage devices and sensors,” Shi said. “Van der Waals forces are weaker than chemical bonds ⎯ they’re the same kind of forces that allow geckos to defy gravity and climb walls.

“The soft in-plane lattices of this 2D material coupled with relatively weaker interlayer van der Waals forces give rise to a unique structural landscape. These distinctive structural features generate effects exclusive to 2D ferroelectrics that are absent in their bulk counterparts.”

The greater degree of flexibility or freedom of the atomic lattice in 2D van der Waals ferroelectrics makes it more difficult to map out the relationship between polarization and material structure.

“In our study, we developed a new technique that allows us to look at both in-plane strain and out-of-plane stacking order simultaneously, which is something conventional investigations of this material were unable to do previously,” Han said. “Our findings are set to revolutionize domain engineering in 2D van der Waals ferroelectrics and position them as fundamental building blocks in the development of advanced devices for the future,” Han said.

The research was supported by the National Science Foundation (2239545, 1231319, 2132105, 1753054, 2039380, 1719875), the Welch Foundation (C-2065), the Department of Energy (DE-SC0020042, DE-SC0023353) and Texas A&M High Performance Research Computing.

-30-

This release can be found online at news.rice.edu.

Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.

Peer-reviewed paper:

“Domain-dependent strain and stacking in two-dimensional van der Waals ferroelectrics” | Nature Communications | DOI: 10.1038/s41467-023-42947-3

Authors: Chuqiao Shi, Nannan Mao, Kena Zhang, Tianyi Zhang, Ming-Hui Chiu, Kenna Ashen, Bo Wang, Xiuyu Tang, Galio Guo, Shiming Lei, Longqing Chen, Ye Cao, Xiaofeng Qian, Jing Kong and Yimo Han

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-023-42947-3

Image downloads:

https://news-network.rice.edu/news/files/2023/11/231107_Yimo-Han-Chuqiao-Shi_Gustavo-3.jpg
CAPTION: Yimo Han (left) and Chuqiao Shi (Photo by Gustavo Raskosky/Rice University)

https://news-network.rice.edu/news/files/2023/11/figure.jpg
CAPTION: Rice researchers used four-dimensional scanning transmission electron microscopy to analyze the structure of the material (first panel from left); their analysis yielded a ferroelastic strain map of a flake of the material (second and third panels). Insets on the third panel represent polarization directions in different stripe domains. (Image courtesy of Han lab/Rice University)

Related stories:

Interdisciplinary Rice team tackles the future of semiconductors:
https://news.rice.edu/news/2023/interdisciplinary-rice-team-tackles-future-semiconductors

Gold buckyballs, oft-used nanoparticle ‘seeds’ are one and the same:
https://news.rice.edu/news/2023/gold-buckyballs-oft-used-nanoparticle-seeds-are-one-and-same

Yimo Han wins NSF CAREER Award:
https://msne.rice.edu/news/yimo-han-wins-nsf-career-award

Links:

Han lab: https://hanlab.blogs.rice.edu/
Department of Materials Science and Nanoengineering: msne.rice.edu
George R. Brown School of Engineering: https://engineering.rice.edu/

About Rice:

Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of architecture, business, continuing studies, engineering, humanities, music, natural sciences and social sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 4,574 undergraduates and 3,982 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is just under 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for lots of race/class interaction, No. 2 for best-run colleges and No. 12 for quality of life by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.
 

If you do not wish to receive news releases from Rice University, reply to this email and write “unsubscribe” in the subject line. Office of News and Media Relations – MS 300, Rice University, 6100 Main St., Houston, TX 77005.

END

[Attachments] See images for this press release:
Rice engineers tackle hard-to-map class of materials Rice engineers tackle hard-to-map class of materials 2 Rice engineers tackle hard-to-map class of materials 3

ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:

Unravelling the mechanism of urticaria from eruption shapes

Unravelling the mechanism of urticaria from eruption shapes
2023-12-04
The skin is the largest organ in the human body and plays an important role in maintaining homeostasis as well as protecting the body from the outside environment. Skin diseases can be life-threatening or heavily impair patients’ quality of life. Urticaria (also called “hives”) is common, affecting at least one in five people in their lifetime, and can persist for years or even decades. Many skin diseases are unique to humans, and their pathogenesis often remains unclear due to the lack of an appropriate experimental animal model and limited clinical data. One such human-specific disease is chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU), which is characterized by the ...

New theory unites Einstein’s gravity with quantum mechanics

New theory unites Einstein’s gravity with quantum mechanics
2023-12-04
A radical theory that consistently unifies gravity and quantum mechanics while preserving Einstein’s classical concept of spacetime is announced today in two papers published simultaneously by UCL (University College London) physicists. Modern physics is founded upon two pillars: quantum theory on the one hand, which governs the smallest particles in the universe, and Einstein’s theory of general relativity on the other, which explains gravity through the bending of spacetime. But these two theories are in contradiction with each other and a reconciliation ...

Study: Artificial light is luring birds to cities and sometimes to their deaths

2023-12-04
Nearly 1,000 birds were killed Oct. 4-5 when they collided with an illuminated glass building in Chicago. Though mass fatalities of this magnitude are rare, light pollution poses a serious – and growing – threat to migrating birds.   In the largest study of its kind, published in Nature Communications, scientists used weather radar data to map bird stopover density in the United States and found that artificial light is a top indicator of where birds will land. City lights lure birds into what can be an ecological trap, said lead author Kyle Horton, an assistant professor ...

Decades after blood pressure-related pregnancy complications, Hispanic/Latina women can have changes in heart structure and function

2023-12-04
Decades after blood pressure-related pregnancy complications, Hispanic/Latina women can have changes in heart structure and function Findings highlight importance of early monitoring and management of hypertension during and after pregnancy Hispanic/Latina women with a history of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP) – conditions marked by high blood pressure during pregnancy – are more likely to have abnormalities in their heart structure and function decades later when compared with women without a history of HDP, according to a National Institutes ...

Lesbian, gay, and bisexual survivors of adolescent and young adult cancers often have chronic health conditions

2023-12-04
Lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) adolescents and young adult cancer survivors in the United States are more likely to report experiencing chronic health conditions than their heterosexual peers with a history of cancer as well as their LGB peers without a past cancer diagnosis. The findings come from a survey-based study published by Wiley online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society. Previous studies have indicated that minority sexual orientation and gender identity populations have higher prevalence rates of many chronic conditions—including heart disease, ...

Pharmacy forecast identifies growing societal challenges expected to impact care

2023-12-04
BETHESDA, Maryland (December 4, 2023) — Societal issues — including the growth in ultra-high-cost treatments, the epidemic of mental health and substance use disorders, climate change, and the rise of artificial intelligence (AI)— could alter how health systems serve their communities within five years, according to the latest annual ASHP/ASHP Foundation Pharmacy Forecast Report. The 2024 Pharmacy Forecast, released today at the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting & Exhibition, drew ...

Following in polar bears' footprints: DNA from snow tracks could help monitor threatened animals

Following in polar bears footprints: DNA from snow tracks could help monitor threatened animals
2023-12-04
Polar bears are icons of the Arctic, elusive and vulnerable. Detailed monitoring of their populations is crucial for their conservation — but because polar bears are so difficult to find, we are missing critical data about population size and how well connected those populations are. Scientists have now developed a new tool to help: DNA analysis using skin cells shed in the bears’ footprints in the snow. “It is particularly challenging, expensive, and time-consuming to find polar bears in the Arctic, let alone count them and understand how they are coping with climate change,” said Dr Melanie Lancaster of the World Wide Fund for Nature Global ...

Investigation of degradation mechanism for all-solid-state batteries takes another step toward commercialization

Investigation of degradation mechanism for all-solid-state batteries takes another step toward commercialization
2023-12-04
Often referred to as the ‘dream batteries’, all-solid-state batteries are the next generation of batteries that many battery manufacturers are competing to bring to market. Unlike lithium-ion batteries, which use a liquid electrolyte, all components, including the electrolyte, anode, and cathode, are solid, reducing the risk of explosion, and are in high demand in markets ranging from automobiles to energy storage systems (ESS). However, devices that maintain the high pressure (tens of MPa) required for stable operation of all-solid-state batteries have problems that reduce the battery performance, such as energy density and capacity, ...

Decoding flavonoid metabolism: a closer look at plant-based diets

Decoding flavonoid metabolism: a closer look at plant-based diets
2023-12-04
In a world where plant-based lifestyles are on the rise, the power of foods such as broccoli, celery, and tofu, which are rich in flavonoids, is becoming clearer. Flavonoids are phenolic compounds produced by plants that are essential for plant development and defense and have long been said to have therapeutic and preventive effects against cancer and heart disease. However, the exact process of how our bodies metabolize flavonoids remains unclear. An international team of researchers led by visiting researcher Tsutomu Shimada and Professor Shigeo ...

New rule for emergency departments to safely reduce use of CTs after falls in older patients

2023-12-04
How do emergency department staff determine whether older adults who have fallen need imaging? A new decision rule will help emergency department physicians determine which older adults need imaging for head injuries, describes new research in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) https://www.cmaj.ca/lookup/doi/10.1503/cmaj.230634. With aging populations, emergency departments are managing an increasing number of older adults who fall; falling on level ground, like in one's house, is a common cause of a brain bleed. Computed tomography (CT) of the head is commonly used to assess patients who have fallen, but sending every patient who has fallen ...

LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:

UK/Portuguese study strongly suggests antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” are being passed from cats and dogs to their owners

Researchers study effects of solvation and ion valency on metallopolymers

Physicists solve puzzle about ancient galaxy found by Webb telescope

Clear guidelines needed for synthetic data to ensure transparency, accountability and fairness study says

Report finds significant gender and racial inequities in the educational measurement profession

University of Houston and Scotland’s Heriot-Watt University forge strategic energy alliance

Rice team demonstrates miniature brain stimulator in humans

Jennifer Stinson receives prestigious Barer-Flood Prize in health services research

First insights into the genetic bottleneck characterizing early sheep husbandry in the Neolithic period

Theories that explain the crisis in democracy are inadequate for Latin America, experts say

Starving cells hijack protein transport stations

Where have all the right whales gone?

Researchers find no link between COVID-19 virus and development of asthma in children

Cell’s ‘garbage disposal’ may have another role: helping neurons near skin sense the environment

Study reveals potential to reverse lung fibrosis using the body’s own healing technique

International team co-led by a BSC researcher discovers more than 50 new deep-sea species in one of the most unexplored areas of the planet

Cleveland Innovation District partners exceeding many targets set by state and JobsOhio

A third of women experience migraines associated with menstruation, most commonly when premenopausal

MD Anderson Research Highlights for April 12, 2024

Soft Robotics appoints new Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Barbara Mazzolai, PhD

Wiley releases Mass Spectra of Designer Drugs 2024 to accelerate forensics analysis of fentanyls, cannabinoids, and more

Freestanding emergency departments are popular, but do they function as intended?

University of Cincinnati experts present at national neurology conference

Bonobos are more aggressive than previously thought

How seaweed became multicellular

Melanomas resist drugs by ‘breaking’ genes

Africa’s iconic flamingos threatened by rising lake levels, study shows

Vaccination timeliness among US children ages 0-19 months

Changes in permanent contraception procedures among young adults following the Dobbs decision

Semaglutide vs endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty for weight loss

[Press-News.org] Rice engineers tackle hard-to-map class of materials
Technique could help tap 2D van der Waals ferroelectrics for use in next-generation electronics