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  1. Abstract Transition metal oxides are promising candidates for the next generation of spintronic devices due to their fascinating properties that can be effectively engineered by strain, defects, and microstructure. An excellent example can be found in ferroelastic LaCoO 3 with paramagnetism in bulk. In contrast, unexpected ferromagnetism is observed in tensile-strained LaCoO 3 films, however, its origin remains controversial. Here we simultaneously reveal the formation of ordered oxygen vacancies and previously unreported long-range suppression of CoO 6 octahedral rotations throughout LaCoO 3 films. Supported by density functional theory calculations, we find that the strong modification of Co 3 d -O 2 p hybridization associated with the increase of both Co-O-Co bond angle and Co-O bond length weakens the crystal-field splitting and facilitates an ordered high-spin state of Co ions, inducing an emergent ferromagnetic-insulating state. Our work provides unique insights into underlying mechanisms driving the ferromagnetic-insulating state in tensile-strained ferroelastic LaCoO 3 films while suggesting potential applications toward low-power spintronic devices. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024
  2. Highly promising performance for future computing applications is achieved based on a new materials design. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 23, 2024
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 14, 2024
  4. The prototypical chalcogenide perovskite, BaZrS3 (BZS), with its direct bandgap of 1.7–1.8 eV, high chemical stability, and strong light–matter interactions, has garnered significant interest over the past few years. So far, attempts to grow BaZrS3 films have been limited mainly to physical vapor deposition techniques. Here, we report the fabrication of BZS thin films via a facile aqueous solution route of polymer-assisted deposition (PAD), where the polymer-chelated cation precursor films were sulfurized in a mixed CS2 and Ar atmosphere. The formation of a single-phase polycrystalline BZS thin film at a processing temperature of 900 °C was confirmed by X-ray diffraction and Raman spectroscopy. The stoichiometry of the films was verified by Rutherford Backscattering spectrometry and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. The BZS films showed a photoluminescence peak at around 1.8 eV and exhibited a photogenerated current under light illumination at a wavelength of 530 nm. Temperature-dependent resistivity analysis revealed that the conduction of BaZrS3 films under the dark condition could be described by the Efros–Shklovskii variable range hopping model in the temperature range of 60–300 K, with an activation energy of about 44 meV. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2024
  5. Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2024
  6. Abstract

    Multiferroic materials have generated great interest due to their potential as functional device materials. Nanocomposites have been increasingly used to design and generate new functionalities by pairing dissimilar ferroic materials, though the combination often introduces new complexity and challenges unforeseeable in single-phase counterparts. The recently developed approaches to fabricate 3D super-nanocomposites (3D‐sNC) open new avenues to control and enhance functional properties. In this work, we develop a new 3D‐sNC with CoFe2O4(CFO) short nanopillar arrays embedded in BaTiO3(BTO) film matrix via microstructure engineering by alternatively depositing BTO:CFO vertically-aligned nanocomposite layers and single-phase BTO layers. This microstructure engineering method allows encapsulating the relative conducting CFO phase by the insulating BTO phase, which suppress the leakage current and enhance the polarization. Our results demonstrate that microstructure engineering in 3D‐sNC offers a new bottom–up method of fabricating advanced nanostructures with a wide range of possible configurations for applications where the functional properties need to be systematically modified.

     
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  7. We report the dielectric Properties of HfO 2 -based films in the optical–high frequency range. The demonstrated tunability of the optical dielectric constant of HfO 2 -based compounds is of great relevance for optoelectronic applications, e.g., high-refractive index dielectrics for nanoantenna and optical coatings for electronic displays. Since the optical dielectric constant of HfO 2 is determined by the electronic structure and its crystal environment, we tune the physical properties of HfO 2 films on MgO by adding different dopants. In this work, we aim to determine the influence of doping together with the resulting crystal structure on the optical dielectric constant. Hence, we studied 20 mol. % Y-doped HfO 2 (HYO), Hf 0.5 Zr 0.5 O 2 (HZO), and Hf 0.5 Ce 0.5 O 2 (HCO). Among the dopants, Y 2 O 3 has the lowest, ZrO 2 an intermediate, and CeO 2 the highest real part of the optical dielectric constant. The optical dielectric constant is found to be lowest in the cubic HYO films. An intermediate dielectric constant is found in HZO films that is predominantly in the monoclinic phase, but additionally hosts the cubic phase. The highest dielectric constant is observed in HCO films that are predominantly in the cubic phase with inclusions of the monoclinic phase. The observed trend is in good agreement with the dominant role of the dopant type in setting the optical dielectric constant. 
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  8. Perovskite offers a framework that boasts various functionalities and physical properties of interest such as ferroelectricity, magnetic orderings, multiferroicity, superconductivity, semiconductor, and optoelectronic properties owing to their rich compositional diversity. These properties are also uniquely tied to their crystal distortion which is directly affected by lattice strain. Therefore, many important properties of perovskite can be further tuned through strain engineering which can be accomplished by chemical doping or simply element substitution, interface engineering in epitaxial thin films, and special architectures such as nanocomposites. In this review, we focus on and highlight the structure–property relationships of perovskite metal oxide films and elucidate the principles to manipulate the functionalities through different modalities of strain engineering approaches. 
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