Electric field mediated switching of mechanical properties of strontium titanate at room temperature

Crystal Research and Technology (Impact Factor: 0.94). 10/2009; 45(1):13 - 17. DOI: 10.1002/crat.200900612


In situ application of an electric field to a SrTiO3 single crystal plate during nanoindentation led to a reversible change of the mechanical properties at room temperature. When a field of 8 kV/cm was applied, Meyer hardness and Young's modulus decreased by 0.6 GPa and 11 GPa, respectively. An explanation for this behaviour is given by the diffusion of oxygen vacancies resulting in a distortion of the perovskite-type of structure in the near-surface layer tested by nanoindentation. Simulations using density functional theory support the dependence of elasticity on the presence of vacancies. Thus, we can show the remarkable influence of electric fields on oxide materials which should be considered and used in designing future applications. (© 2010 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)

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    ABSTRACT: Motivated by the successful use of strontium titanate with different doping metals for memory cells on the basis of resistive switching and the recent findings on the major importance of oxygen vacancy redistribution in this compound, the present work shows the possibility of a non-volatile resistance change memory based on vacancy-doped SrTiO3. The formation of corresponding metal/SrTiO3−δ junctions (δ>0) in an electric field will be discussed as well as the switching between ohmic and Schottky-type contact behavior. A notable hysteresis in the current–voltage characteristics is used to carry out Write, Read, and Erase operations exemplifying the memory cell properties of such junctions. But whereas the electric field-induced formation of Schottky-type junctions is explainable by oxygen vacancy redistribution, the resistive switching needs to be discussed in terms of vacancies serving as electron trap states at the metal/oxide interface.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2010 · Applied Physics A
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    ABSTRACT: Strontium titanate (STO) is a preferred substrate material for functional oxide growth, whose surface properties can be adjusted through the presence of Ruddlesden–Popper (RP) phases. Here, density functional theory (DFT) is used to model the (1 0 0) and (0 0 1) surfaces of SrO(SrTiO3)n RP phases. Relaxed surface structures, electronic properties and stability relations have been determined. In contrast to pure STO, the near-surface SrO–OSr stacking fault can be employed to control surface roughness by adjusting SrO and TiO2 surface rumpling, to stabilize SrO termination in an SrO-rich surrounding or to increase the band gap in the case of TiO2 termination. RP thin films have been epitaxially grown on (0 0 1) STO substrates by chemical solution deposition. In agreement with DFT results, the fraction of particular RP phases n = 1–3 changes with varying heating rate and molar ratio Sr:Ti. This is discussed in terms of bulk formation energy.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2010 · Acta Materialia
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    ABSTRACT: We present and discuss the results of the large scale Hartree–Fock calculations of Nb impurities substituting for Ti ions in SrTiO3 using ab initio computer code CRYSTAL and several supercells containing up to 135 atoms. The local structure optimisation, the electronic charge redistribution, chemical bond covalence and the band-structure changes induced by the defect are analysed. According to the results of our calculations, Nb is a shallow donor; six nearest O ions are slightly displaced outwards from the Nb ion. The calculated bond population between nearest Ti and O ions (64me) is much larger than that between Nb and O ions (8me), since Nb impurity is more ionic than the host Ti.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2010 · Physica B Condensed Matter
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