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  1. Abstract

    Developing novel lead‐free ferroelectric materials is crucial for next‐generation microelectronic technologies that are energy efficient and environment friendly. However, materials discovery and property optimization are typically time‐consuming due to the limited throughput of traditional synthesis methods. In this work, we use a high‐throughput combinatorial synthesis approach to fabricate lead‐free ferroelectric superlattices and solid solutions of (Ba0.7Ca0.3)TiO3(BCT) and Ba(Zr0.2Ti0.8)O3(BZT) phases with continuous variation of composition and layer thickness. High‐resolution x‐ray diffraction (XRD) and analytical scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) demonstrate high film quality and well‐controlled compositional gradients. Ferroelectric and dielectric property measurements identify the “optimal property point” achieved at the composition of 48BZT–52BCT. Displacement vector maps reveal that ferroelectric domain sizes are tunable by varying {BCT–BZT}Nsuperlattice geometry. This high‐throughput synthesis approach can be applied to many other material systems to expedite new materials discovery and properties optimization, allowing for the exploration of a large area of phase space within a single growth.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 12, 2025
  2. As the energy demand is expected to double over the next 30 years, there has been a major initiative towards advancing the technology of both energy harvesting and storage for renewable energy. In this work, we explore a subset class of dielectrics for energy storage since ferroelectrics offer a unique combination of characteristics needed for energy storage devices. We investigate ferroelectric lead-free 0.5[Ba(Ti0.8Zr0.2)O3]-0.5(Ba0.7Ca0.3)TiO3 epitaxial thin films with different crystallographic orientations grown by pulsed laser deposition. We focus our attention on the influence of the crystallographic orientation on the microstructure, ferroelectric, and dielectric properties. Our results indicate an enhancement of the polarization and strong anisotropy in the dielectric response for the (001)-oriented film. The enhanced ferroelectric, energy storage, and dielectric properties of the (001)-oriented film is explained by the coexistence of orthorhombic-tetragonal phase, where the disordered local structure is in its free energy minimum.

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2024
  3. 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
  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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  5. Abstract

    Phase separation in manganites leads to unique magnetic and electronic properties. 50% Ca‐doped LaMnO3(LCMO), at the boundary of ferromagnetic (FM) and antiferromagnetic (AFM) states in La1‐xCaxMnO3(0 ≤ x ≤ 1), is an ideal system to study phase separation behavior. The investigation reveals the effect of a 5d‐metal perovskite SrIrO3(SIO) on the phase separation, magnetic, and magnetoresistance (MR) properties of LCMO. Single‐layer and bilayer LCMO films, both appear purely ferromagnetic along the in‐plane (IP) magnetic field direction, but show the tendency of temperature‐dependent ferromagnetic and antiferromagnetic or charge‐ordered (CO) phase separation with the out‐of‐plane (OOP) applied field. The MR, and colossal magnetoresistance (CMR), observed in LCMO/SIO bilayers are two orders and an order of magnitude (in %) larger, respectively than that in the single‐layer film. The coexistence of FM and AFM/CO phases is responsible for the CMR and MR enhancement in the LCMO/SIO bilayer, pointing toward the importance of the phase separation and competition of both the individual materials in enhancing their magnetic and electronic properties.

     
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  6. null (Ed.)