The end of the silicon roadmap: Every 18 months our computers become twice as powerful. However, this trend will stop in 10 years when transistors become so small that heat dissipation and quantum effects dominate. The information society (a specific objective of the European Research Area) will then require material systems that offer an alternative to silicon technology.
The aim of this proposal is to investigate the manganites where it is possible to create nanoscale devices such as might be used in the post-silicon era. An alternative material system: The manganites are complex oxides of manganese. Modern imaging techniques confirm that even single crystals can contain multiple phases. That is, different parts of the material can behave quite differently c.f. aluminium, which is metallic throughout.
In a manganite, patches of metal can coexist with patches of insulator. Crucially, the patches can extend over a wide range of length scales. The smallest patches are as small as the manganese atoms themselves. Moreover, the patches contain a range of magnetic textures. This richness permits multiple means of addressing nanoscale manganite circuit and memory elements.
Objectives & realisation Materials selection exercise to establish phase boundaries in thin film manganites Observation of phase coexistence near phase boundaries in thin films Addressing phases in thin films Self-organised phase coexistence in thin film devices.
Addressing phases in thin film devices Proof-of-principle nanodevices Nanotechnology: the third way. This project represents an alternative to the traditional top-down and bottom-up synthesis routes in nanotechnology. Here, the aim is to create self-organised nanoscale electronic and magnetic elements in the homogeneous background of a continuous crystal.
Training: The Fellow will lead the research and play an active part in any commercialisation. Experimental skills in thin film growth will be extended to encompass device nanofabrication.
Call for proposal
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