skip to main content

Title: Thickness dependence of dielectric constant of alumina films based on first-principles calculations
Optoelectronic properties of devices made of two-dimensional materials depend largely on the dielectric constant and thickness of a substrate. To systematically investigate the thickness dependence of dielectric constant from first principles, we have implemented a double-cell method based on a theoretical framework by Martyna and Tuckerman [J. Chem. Phys. 110, 2810 (1999)] and therewith developed a general and robust procedure to calculate dielectric constants of slab systems from electric displacement and electric field, which is free from material-specific adjustable parameters. We have applied the procedure to a prototypical substrate, Al 2 O 3 , thereby computing high-frequency and static dielectric constants of a finite slab as a function of the number of crystalline unit-cell layers. We find that two and four layers are sufficient for the high-frequency and static dielectric constants of (0001) Al 2 O 3 slabs to recover 90% of the respective bulk values computed by a Berry-phase method. This method allows one to estimate the thickness dependence of dielectric constants for various materials used in emerging two-dimensional nanophotonics, while providing an analytic formula that can be incorporated into photonics simulations.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Applied Physics Letters
Page Range / eLocation ID:
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. We determine the composition dependence of the transverse and longitudinal optical infrared-active phonon modes in rhombohedral α-(AlxGa1−x)2O3alloys by far-infrared and infrared generalized spectroscopic ellipsometry. Single-crystalline high quality undoped thin-films grown on m-plane oriented α-Al2O3substrates with x =  0.18, 0.37, and 0.54 were investigated. A single mode behavior is observed for all phonon modes, i.e., their frequencies shift gradually between the equivalent phonon modes of the isostructural binary parent compounds. We also provide physical model line shape functions for the anisotropic dielectric functions. We use the anisotropic high-frequency dielectric constants for polarizations parallel and perpendicular to the lattice c axis measured recently by Hilfiker et al. [Appl. Phys. Lett. 119, 092103 (2021)], and we determine the anisotropic static dielectric constants using the Lyddane–Sachs–Teller relation. The static dielectric constants can be approximated by linear relationships between those of α-Ga2O3and α-Al2O3. The optical phonon modes and static dielectric constants will become useful for device design and free charge carrier characterization using optical techniques.

    more » « less
  2. Ever-increasing demands for energy, particularly being environmentally friendly have promoted the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.1Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs), arguably the most well-studied energy storage system, have dominated the energy market since their advent in the 1990s.2However, challenging issues regarding safety, supply of lithium, and high price of lithium resources limit the further advancement of LIBs for large-scale energy storage applications.3Therefore, attention is being concentrated on an alternative electrochemical energy storage device that features high safety, low cost, and long cycle life. Rechargeable aqueous zinc-ion batteries (ZIBs) is considered one of the most promising alternative energy storage systems due to the high theoretical energy and power densities where the multiple electrons (Zn2+) . In addition, aqueous ZIBs are safer due to non-flammable electrolyte (e.g., typically aqueous solution) and can be manufactured since they can be assembled in ambient air conditions.4As an essential component in aqueous Zn-based batteries, the Zn metal anode generally suffers from the growth of dendrites, which would affect battery performance in several ways. Second, the led by the loose structure of Zn dendrite may reduce the coulombic efficiency and shorten the battery lifespan.5

    Several approaches were suggested to improve the electrochemical stability of ZIBs, such as implementing an interfacial buffer layer that separates the active Zn from the bulk electrolyte.6However, the and thick thickness of the conventional Zn metal foils remain a critical challenge in this field, which may diminish the energy density of the battery drastically. According to a theretical calculation, the thickness of a Zn metal anode with an areal capacity of 1 mAh cm-2is about 1.7 μm. However, existing extrusion-based fabrication technologies are not capable of downscaling the thickness Zn metal foils below 20 μm.

    Herein, we demonstrate a thickness controllable coating approach to fabricate an ultrathin Zn metal anode as well as a thin dielectric oxide separator. First, a 1.7 μm Zn layer was uniformly thermally evaporated onto a Cu foil. Then, Al2O3, the separator was deposited through sputtering on the Zn layer to a thickness of 10 nm. The inert and high hardness Al2O3layer is expected to lower the polarization and restrain the growth of Zn dendrites. Atomic force microscopy was employed to evaluate the roughness of the surface of the deposited Zn and Al2O3/Zn anode structures. Long-term cycling stability was gauged under the symmetrical cells at 0.5 mA cm-2for 1 mAh cm-2. Then the fabricated Zn anode was paired with MnO2as a full cell for further electrochemical performance testing. To investigate the evolution of the interface between the Zn anode and the electrolyte, a home-developed in-situ optical observation battery cage was employed to record and compare the process of Zn deposition on the anodes of the Al2O3/Zn (demonstrated in this study) and the procured thick Zn anode. The surface morphology of the two Zn anodes after circulation was characterized and compared through scanning electron microscopy. The tunable ultrathin Zn metal anode with enhanced anode stability provides a pathway for future high-energy-density Zn-ion batteries.

    Obama, B., The irreversible momentum of clean energy.Science2017,355(6321), 126-129.

    Goodenough, J. B.; Park, K. S., The Li-ion rechargeable battery: a perspective.J Am Chem Soc2013,135(4), 1167-76.

    Li, C.; Xie, X.; Liang, S.; Zhou, J., Issues and Future Perspective on Zinc Metal Anode for Rechargeable Aqueous Zinc‐ion Batteries.Energy & Environmental Materials2020,3(2), 146-159.

    Jia, H.; Wang, Z.; Tawiah, B.; Wang, Y.; Chan, C.-Y.; Fei, B.; Pan, F., Recent advances in zinc anodes for high-performance aqueous Zn-ion batteries.Nano Energy2020,70.

    Yang, J.; Yin, B.; Sun, Y.; Pan, H.; Sun, W.; Jia, B.; Zhang, S.; Ma, T., Zinc Anode for Mild Aqueous Zinc-Ion Batteries: Challenges, Strategies, and Perspectives.Nanomicro Lett2022,14(1), 42.

    Yang, Q.; Li, Q.; Liu, Z.; Wang, D.; Guo, Y.; Li, X.; Tang, Y.; Li, H.; Dong, B.; Zhi, C., Dendrites in Zn-Based Batteries.Adv Mater2020,32(48), e2001854.


    This work was partially supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) Award No. ECCS-1931088. S.L. and H.W.S. acknowledge the support from the Improvement of Measurement Standards and Technology for Mechanical Metrology (Grant No. 22011044) by KRISS.

    Figure 1


    more » « less
  3. Abstract The structural properties of co-deposited ultrathin PtSe 2 films grown at low temperatures by molecular beam epitaxy on c-plane Al 2 O 3 are studied. By simultaneously supplying a Se flux from a Knudsen cell and Pt atoms from an electron-beam evaporator, crystalline (001)-oriented PtSe 2 films were formed between 200 °C and 300 °C. The long separation between substrate and electron beam evaporator of about 60 cm ensured minimal thermal load. At optimum deposition temperatures, a ten times or even higher supply rate of Se compared to Pt ensured that the pronounced volatility of the Se was compensated and the PtSe 2 phase was formed and stabilized at the growth front. Postgrowth anneals under a Se flux was found to dramatically improve the crystalline quality of the films. Even before the postgrowth anneal in Se, the crystallinity of PtSe 2 films grown with the co-deposition method was superior to films realized by thermal assisted conversion. Postgrowth annealed films showed Raman modes with narrower peaks and more than twice the intensity. Transmission electron microscopy investigations revealed that the deposited material transitioned to a two-dimensional layered structure only after the postgrowth anneal. PtSe 2 growth was found to start as single layer islands that preferentially nucleated at atomic steps of the substrate and progressed in a layer-by-layer like fashion. A close to ideal wetting behavior resulted in coalesced PtSe 2 films after depositing about 1.5 PtSe 2 layers. Detailed Raman investigation of the observed PtSe 2 layer breathing modes of films grown under optimized co-deposition conditions revealed an interlayer coupling force constant of 5.0–5.6 × 10 19 N m −3 . 
    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    We report on the tunable and enhanced dielectric properties of tungsten (W) incorporated gallium oxide (Ga2O3) polycrystalline electroceramics for energy and power electronic device applications. The W‐incorporated Ga2O3(Ga2−2xWxO3, 0.00 ≤ x ≤ 0.20; GWO) compounds were synthesized by the high‐temperature solid‐state chemical reaction method by varying the W‐content. The fundamental aspects of the dielectric properties in correlation with the crystal structure, phase, and microstructure of the GWO polycrystalline compounds has been investigated in detail. A detailed study performed ascertains the W‐induced changes in the dielectric constant, loss tangent (tanδ) and ac conductivity. It was found that the dielectric constant increases with addition of W in the system as a function of temperature (25°C‐500°C). Frequency dependence (102‐106 Hz) of the dielectric constant follows the modified Debye model with a relaxation time of ∼20 to 90 μs and a spreading factor of 0.39 to 0.65. The dielectric constant of GWO is temperature independent almost until ∼300°C, and then increases rapidly in the range of 300°C to 500°C. W‐induced enhancement in the dielectric constant of GWO is fully evident in the frequency and temperature dependent dielectric studies. The frequency and temperature dependent tanδreveals the typical behavior of relaxation loses in GWO. Small polaron hopping mechanism is evident in the frequency dependent electrical transport properties of GWO. The remarkable effect of W‐incorporation on the dielectric and electrical transport properties of Ga2O3is explained by a two‐layer heterogeneous model consisting of thick grains separated by very thin grain boundaries along with the formation of a Ga2O3‐WO3composite was able to account for the observed temperature and frequency dependent electrical properties in GWO. The results demonstrate that the structure, electrical and dielectric properties can be tailored by tuning W‐content in the GWO compounds.

    more » « less
  5. Two-dimensional materials, such as transition metal dichalcogenides, have generated much interest due to their strain-sensitive electronic, optical, magnetic, superconducting, or topological properties. Harnessing control over their strain state may enable new technologies that operate by controlling these materials’ properties in devices such as straintronic transistors. Piezoelectric oxides have been proposed as one method to control such strain states on the device scale. However, there are few studies of how conformal 2D materials remain on oxide materials with respect to dynamic applications of the strain. Non-conformality may lead to non-optimal strain transfer. In this work, we explore this aspect of oxide-2D adhesion in the nanoscale switching of the substrate structural phase in thin 1T′-MoTe 2 attached to a mixed-phase thin-film BiFeO 3 (BFO), a multiferroic oxide with an electric-field induced structural phase transition that can generate mechanical strains of up to 2%. We observe that flake thickness impacts the conformality of 1T′-MoTe 2 to structural changes in BFO, but below four layers, 1T′-MoTe 2 fully conforms to the nanoscale BFO structural changes. The conformality of few-layer 1T′-MoTe 2 suggests that BFO is an excellent candidate for deterministic, nanoscale strain control for 2D materials. 
    more » « less