Understanding oxygen dynamics is a key to superior device performance in emergent oxide electronics. So far it is an unrealized dream to correlate electrical behavior and atomic structure during device operation. Here, I envision bridging the gap between theoretical models and experimental reality. Recent advances in microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) chips for in situ transmission electron microscopy (TEM) are opening exciting new avenues in nanoscale research. The capability to perform current-voltage measurements while simultaneously analyzing the corresponding structural, chemical or even electronic structure changes during the operation of an electronic device would be a major breakthrough for nanoelectronics. Controlled electric field studies would enable an unprecedented way to investigate metal-oxide functional devices by using a lab-on-a-chip approach. I propose this project based upon own groundbreaking work on (i) how to electrically contact and operate an electron transparent lamella device fabricated from a metal-insulator-metal (MIM) structure (Ultramicroscopy 181 (2017) 144-149) and (ii) the design of a novel MEMS-based chip for in situ electrical biasing. FOXON will provide a platform for atomic scale operando investigations of oxide thin film and interface switching phenomena of MIM devices under electrical bias inside a microscope. My scientific endeavor will establish a group to develop beyond state-of-the-art operando TEM of MIM structured devices and tackle open questions in the field of oxide electronics. My scientific mission incorporates (a) studies of switching processes in oxide devices and (b) a comprehensive understanding of the atomic-level mechanisms that lead to tunable physical properties including dynamics of oxygen vacancies and stability of quantized conductance states in RRAM devices (Adv. Funct. Mater. (2017) 1700432). The results from this ERC Starting Grant could pave the way for novel quantum and information technologies.
Field of science
- /humanities/arts/modern and contemporary art/film
- /engineering and technology/nanotechnology
- /engineering and technology/nanotechnology/nanoelectronics
Call for proposal
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