Atomic scale synthesis and atomic scale characterization of complex oxides with electronic/ionic conductivity

01 January 2018 → 31 December 2021
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Nanophysics and nanosystems
    • Surfaces, interfaces, 2D materials
    • Solid state chemistry
  • Engineering and technology
    • Functionalisation of materials
    • Materials synthesis
    • Surface engineering
Complex oxides atomic layer deposition
Project description

Complex oxides that exhibit electronic/ionic conductivity are essential for a wide range of

applications, e.g. as transparent conductors in photovoltaics and flexible electronics, or as an ion

conducting solid electrolyte for Li ion batteries. The electronic/ionic conductivity is determined by

structural properties at the atomic scale. Therefore, atomic scale control during synthesis and

atomic scale characterization of the elemental distribution and migration of elemental species is


Within this project, we aim to investigate synthesis strategies based on atomic layer deposition

(ALD) for achieving complex oxides with tunable electronic and ionic conductivity. ALD can be

considered as additive manufacturing at the atomic scale, where (sub)monolayers can be deposited

onto complex shaped surfaces in a highly controlled way. Secondly, we aim to perform atomic scale

characterization through atom probe tomography (APT). In APT a tip-shaped sample is peeled off,

atom by atom, and each atom is ‘eighed’allowing us to identify which element it is, providing a

full 3D atomic scale reconstruction of the sample.

The combined use of ALD and APT will enable us to obtain a fundamental understanding of the

correlation between the atomic-scale 3D-compositional distribution and the electronic/ionic

conductivity. Conversely, the atomic scale control offered by ALD will enable us to obtain unique

model systems to unravel the underlying physics of APT on poorly conducting materials.