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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2014 Apr 23;6(8):5356-61. doi: 10.1021/am5001129. Epub 2014 Apr 3.

Vertical-interface-manipulated conduction behavior in nanocomposite oxide thin films.

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School of Physical Science and Technology & Collaborative Innovation Center of Suzhou Nano Science and Technology, Soochow University , Suzhou 215006, China.


Vertically aligned nanocomposites with vertical interfaces are a novel concept that show powerful advantages over conventional nanocomposites with lateral interfaces. However, significant obstacles to a systematic understanding of vertical interfaces still remain. Here, heteroepitaxial (BaTiO3)0.5:(Sm2O3)0.5 nanocomposite thin films have been fabricated and the conduction behaviors have been investigated. A spontaneous phase ordering with clear vertical interfaces has been found in the composite films. Because of the structural discontinuity as well as a large strain generated at the interfaces, the vertical interfaces are revealed to become the sinks to attract oxygen vacancies. The accumulated oxygen vacancies contributed to a largely reduced leakage current and a different leakage mechanism in the composite films compared to that of the pure BaTiO3 film. The present work represents a methodology to manipulate functionalities by designing configuration of the interfaces in oxide thin films.

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