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.