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    ABSTRACT: Ferroelectric domain wall injection has been demonstrated by engineering of the local electric field, using focused ion beam milled defects in thin single crystal lamellae of KTiOPO4 (KTP). The electric field distribution (top) displays localized field hot-spots, which correlate with nucleation events (bottom). Designed local field variations can also dictate subsequent domain wall mobility, demonstrating a new paradigm in ferroelectric domain wall control.
    Advanced Materials 10/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Self-assembled electrodeposited nanorod materials have been shown to offer an exciting landscape for a wide array of research ranging from nanophotonics through to biosensing and magnetics. However, until now, the scope for site-specific preparation of the nanorods on wafers has been limited to local area definition. Further there is little or no lateral control of nanorod height. In this work we present a scalable method for controlling the growth of the nanorods in the vertical direction as well as their lateral position. A focused ion beam pre-patterns the Au cathode layer prior to the creation of the anodized aluminium oxide (AAO) template on top. When the pre-patterning is of the same dimension as the pore spacing of the AAO template, lines of single nanorods are successfully grown. Further, for sub-200 nm wide features, a relationship between the nanorod height and distance from the non-patterned cathode can be seen to follow a quadratic growth rate obeying Faraday's law of electrodeposition. This facilitates lateral control of nanorod height combined with localized growth of the nanorods.
    Nanotechnology 11/2012; 23(50):505302.
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    ABSTRACT: As part of an ongoing programme to evaluate the extent to which external morphology alters domain wall mobility in ferroelectrics, the electrical switching characteristics of single-crystal BaTiO(3) nanorods and thin film plates have been measured and compared. It was found that ferroelectric nanorods were more readily switched than thin plates; increasing the shape constraint therefore appears to enhance switchability. This observation is broadly consistent with previous work, in which local notches patterned along the length of nanorods enhanced switching (McMillen et al 2010 Appl. Phys. Lett. 96 042904), while antinotches had the opposite effect (McQuaid et al 2010 Nano Lett. 10 3566). In this prior work, local enhancement and denudation of the electric field was expected at the notch and antinotch sites, respectively, and this was thought to be the reason for the differences in switching behaviour observed. However, for the simple nanorods and plates investigated here, no differences in the electric field distributions are expected. To rationalise the functional measurements, domain development during switching was imaged directly by piezoresponse force microscopy. A two-stage process was identified, in which narrow needle-like reverse domains initially form across the entire interelectrode gap and then subsequently coarsen through domain wall propagation perpendicular to the applied electric field. To be consistent with the electrical switching data, we suggest that the initial formation of needle domains occurs more readily in the nanorods than in the plates.
    Journal of Physics Condensed Matter 01/2012; 24(2):024204.
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    ABSTRACT: Hydrogen is detected using a Pd/n-InP Schottky diode in which the elongated, very thin Pd electrode is of greater resistance than the underlying semiconductor substrate. Four-probe measurements of the device resistance, as a function of hydrogen concentration, are made by contacting only the Pd electrode, with a sensitivity of 1 ppm being achieved. On hydrogen exposure the device resistance drops from an initial high value, characteristic of the Pd electrode alone, to a lower value due to a hydrogen-induced lowering of the Schottky barrier that opens up the InP substrate as a parallel current carrying channel.
    Journal of Physics Condensed Matter 10/2011; 23(42):422201.
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    ABSTRACT: Domain states in PbZr((0.42))Ti((0.58))O(3) single-crystal ferroelectric nanodots, formed on cooling through the Curie temperature, were imaged by transmission electron microscopy. In the majority of cases, 90° stripe domains were found to form into four distinct "bundles" or quadrants. Detailed analysis of the dipole orientations in the system was undertaken, using both dark-field imaging and an assumption that charged domain walls were energetically unfavorable in comparison to uncharged walls. On this basis, we conclude that the dipoles in these nanodots are arranged such that the resultant polarizations, associated with the four quadrant domain bundles, form into a closed loop. This "polarization closure" pattern is reminiscent of the flux-closure already commonly observed in soft ferromagnetic microdots but to date unseen in analogous ferroelectric dots.
    Nano Letters 09/2011; 11(10):4490-5.
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    ABSTRACT: The electric field enhancement associated with detailed structure within novel optical antenna nanostructures is modeled using the surface integral equation technique in the context of surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). The antennae comprise random arrays of vertically aligned, multiwalled carbon nanotubes dressed with highly granular Ag. Different types of "hot-spot" underpinning the SERS are identified, but contrasting characteristics are revealed. Those at the outer edges of the Ag grains are antenna driven with field enhancement amplified in antenna antinodes while intergrain hotspots are largely independent of antenna activity. Hot-spots between the tops of antennae leaning towards each other also appear to benefit from antenna amplification.
    Nano Letters 02/2011; 11(2):365-71.
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    ABSTRACT: Over 60 years ago, Charles Kittel predicted that quadrant domains should spontaneously form in small ferromagnetic platelets. He expected that the direction of magnetization within each quadrant should lie parallel to the platelet surface, minimizing demagnetizing fields,and that magnetic moments should be configured into an overall closed loop, or flux-closure arrangement. Although now a ubiquitous observation in ferromagnets, obvious flux-closure patterns have been somewhat elusive in ferroelectric materials. This is despite the analogous behaviour between these two ferroic subgroups and the recent prediction of dipole closure states by atomistic simulations research. Here we show Piezoresponse Force Microscopy images of mesoscopic dipole closure patterns in free-standing, single-crystal lamellae of BaTiO(3). Formation of these patterns is a dynamical process resulting from system relaxation after the BaTiO(3) has been poled with a uniform electric field. The flux-closure states are composed of shape conserving 90° stripe domains which minimize disclination stresses.
    Nature Communications 01/2011; 2:404.
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    ABSTRACT: The optical properties of plasmonic semiconductor devices fabricated by focused ion beam (FIB) milling deteriorate because of the amorphisation of the semiconductor substrate. This study explores the effects of combining traditional 30 kV FIB milling with 5 kV FIB patterning to minimise the semiconductor damage and at the same time maintain high spatial resolution. The use of reduced acceleration voltages is shown to reduce the damage from higher energy ions on the example of fabrication of plasmonic crystals on semiconductor substrates leading to 7-fold increase in transmission. This effect is important for focused-ion beam fabrication of plasmonic structures integrated with photodetectors, light-emitting diodes and semiconductor lasers.
    Nanoscale Research Letters 01/2011; 6:572.
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    ABSTRACT: Arrays of vertically aligned gold nanotubes are fabricated over several square centimetres which display a geometry tunable plasmonic extinction peak at visible wavelengths and at normal incidence. The fabrication method gives control over nanotube dimensions with inner core diameters of 15–30 nm, wall thicknesses of 5–15 nm and nanotube lengths of up to 300 nm. It is possible to tune the position of the extinction peak through the wavelength range 600–900 nm by varying the inner core diameter and wall thickness. The experimental data are in agreement with numerical modelling of the optical properties which further reveal highly localized and enhanced electric fields around the nanotubes. The tunable nature of the optical response exhibited by such structures could be important for various label-free sensing applications based on both refractive index sensing and surface-enhanced Raman scattering.
    Nanotechnology 12/2010; 22(4):045705.
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    ABSTRACT: Naturally occurring boundaries between bundles of 90° stripe domains, which form in BaTiO(3) lamellae on cooling through the Curie Temperature, have been characterized using both piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM) and scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM). Detailed interpretation of the dipole configurations present at these boundaries (using data taken from PFM) shows that in the vast majority of cases they are composed of simple zigzag 180° domain walls. Topological information from STEM shows that occasionally domain bundle boundaries can support chains of dipole flux closure and quadrupole nanostructures, but these kinds of boundaries are comparatively rare; when such chains do exist, it is notable that singularities at the cores of the dipole structures are avoided. The symmetry of the boundary shows that diads and centers of inversion exist at positions where core singularities should have been expected.
    Nano Letters 10/2010; 10(10):4200-5.
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