Electrically Coupling Multifunctional Oxides to Semiconductors: A Route to Novel Material Functionalities
Complex oxides and semiconductors exhibit distinct yet complementary properties owing to their respective ionic and covalent natures. By electrically coupling oxides to semiconductors within epitaxial heterostructures, enhanced or novel functionalities beyond those of the constituent materials can potentially be realized. Key to electrically coupling oxides to semiconductors is controlling the physical and electronic structure of semiconductor – crystalline oxide heterostructures. Here we discuss how composition of the oxide can be manipulated to control physical and electronic structure in Ba1-xSrxTiO3/ Ge and SrZrxTi1-xO3/Ge heterostructures. In the case of the former we discuss how strain can be engineered through composition to enable the re-orientable ferroelectric polarization to be coupled to carriers in the semiconductor. In the case of the latter we discuss how composition can be exploited to control the band offset at the semiconductor - oxide interface. The ability to control the band offset, i.e. band-gap engineering, provides a pathway to electrically couple crystalline oxides to semiconductors to realize a host of functionalities.