Three new publications from Electrosciences

Electrosciences has co-authored three new scientific peer reviewed papers with a focus on the ferroelectric behaviour of industrially important piezoelectrics: 1) theory and experiment at very low temperatures, 2) how to determine unpoled elastic properties and 3) fatigue effects at low electric fields. Details and links are found here:

We provide an insight into the switching of near-morphotropic composition of PZT, using molecular dynamics simulations and electrical measurements. The simulations and experiments exhibit qualitatively similar hysteretic behavior of the polarization for different temperatures showing widening of the P-E loops and the decrease in the coercive field toward high temperatures. Remarkably, we have shown that polarization switching at low temperatures occurs via polarization rotation, that is a fundamentally different mechanism from high-temperature switching, which is nucleation driven. 1) J. B. J. Chapman, O. T. Gindele, C. Vecchini, P. Thompson, M. Stewart, M. G. Cain, D. M. Duffy, and A. V. Kimmel, “Low temperature ferroelectric behavior in morphotropic Pb (Zr 1− xTi x)O 3,” Journal of the American Ceramic Society, vol. 5, pp. 1–9, Sep. 2017.
Schematic of unpoled PZT multilayer actuator

A new method to determine the un-poled elastic properties of ferroelectric materials.

2) C. R. Bowen, A. C. Dent, R. Stevens, M. G. Cain, and A. Avent, “A new method to determine the un-poled elastic properties of ferroelectric materials,” Sci. Technol. Adv. Mater., pp. 1–0, Mar. 2017.
Fatigue in PZT - circuitSchematic diagram of the circuit used to study switching behaviour of ferroelectric bulk samples. A high speed MOSFET was used to switch between a high voltage and ground. Measurement of the voltage across a reference resistor (50 Ω) allows monitoring of the transient current. The load resistance was 300 Ω. 3) T. Buchacher, S. Lepadatu, J. Allam, R. Dorey, and M. G. Cain, “Low field depoling phenomena in soft lead zirconate titanate ferroelectrics,” J Electroceram, pp. 1–7, Dec. 2016.

 

Electrosciences book in top 50% of downloads!

Since its online publication on June 03, 2014, there has been a total of 9,176 chapter downloads for our eBook version on SpringerLink! This means our book was one of the top 50% most downloaded eBooks in the relevant SpringerLink eBook Collection in 2016. I hope our book 'Characterisation of Ferroelectric Bulk Materials and Thin Films' may become a useful addition to your library! Thanks!

ELECTROSCIENCES Thin Film Book
Characterisation of ferroelectric bulk materials and thin films

 

Electrosciences presenting at H2020 ‘Excellence Science’ Info Day

On 27th January 2017 at the Westminster Conference Centre in London, Prof Markys Cain will present his views from the perspectives of a reviewer/assessor of H2020 research project proposals.

InnovateUK and The Knowledge Transfer Network
InnovateUK and The Knowledge Transfer Network

This H2020 Workshop is brought to you by Innovate UK’s National Contact Point for FET-ICT in collaboration with the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the collegial help of UKRO and the Knowledge Transfer Network.

The Workshop will feature dedicated sessions

and overall it will address/offer:

  • The upcoming Calls for Proposals 2017 as per the H2020 Work Programme 2016-2017
  • Case studies of successful projects
  • Insight on the evaluation process
  • First-hand advice from the relevant National Contact Points

More details can be found here.

Electrosciences publishes new review on energy harvesting

Vibrational energy harvesting spans both new technology and traditional technology space. The latter is repre-sented well by wind up watches and the former by self-powered autonomous sensor networks, which is the subject of intense academic and industrial research and development. In this study, the authors introduce the concepts of vibrational energy harvesting with an emphasis on piezoelectric technology. However, much can be learned from more traditional transduction technologies such as electromagnetic so they also discuss some of these systems. The transfer of vibrational energy from its mechanical domain to a useful electrical domain is complex and in this section they explore ways in which the electrical charge (electrical energy state) can be efficiently rectified from its AC character to a viable DC voltage for storage or immediate loading. Finally, they examine some of the very new technologies which permit harvesting of vibrational energy on the very small scale using micro-electromechanical systems based technologies. This length scale is important and better matches the energy density of small scale vibrational sources and power output densities of piezoelectric materials in particular.

Vibrational energy harvesting
Energy flow through a vibration energy harvesting device

M. G. Cain, “Piezoelectric Vibrational Energy Harvesting,” Engineering & Technology Reference, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 1–15, Nov. 2016.

Piezo2017 - International Conference

Electrosciences to present Piezoelectric Transistor research updates from the EU research project PETMEM, at the forthcoming Electroceramics for End-users IX conference. This meeting is the next scientific event in the series of conferences initiated in 2002 by the Piezo Institute and dedicated to advances in electroactive, particularly piezoceramic, materials and devices. It will be combined with a professional exhibition. The next event will be hosted in Spain on February 19-22, 2017. Please register your interest at: Piezo2017

 

Ferroelectric materials for fusion energy applications

New Review Article published by Royal Society of Chemistry
Ferroelectric materials for fusion energy applications
Markys. G. Cain, Paul. M. Weaver and Michael. J. Reece
J. Mater. Chem. A, 2016, Advance Article: DOI: 10.1039/C6TA01935H
A power generating fusion reactor will operate under extreme conditions of temperature and high-energy particle fluences. The energy is produced by the nuclear fusion reaction of deuterium and tritium in a plasma, which can reach temperatures of the order of 100 million °C. The reaction generates helium, high energy (14 MeV) neutrons and gamma rays. The operation of a fusion reactor requires diagnostic equipment for the monitoring of temperature, pressure, magnetic fields, radiation energy and fluence, and other operational parameters. Functional materials, in particular ferroelectrics, can play many useful roles in these types of measurement. Many ferroelectrics are also known for their radiation hardness, which may favour their use in this environment. This review paper describes the functions where ferroelectrics may find useful application in a reactor, the effects of the reactor environment on materials in general, and the effects on ferroelectrics in particular. Though this review is centered on the technology associated with the Joint European Torus (JET), International Thermo-Nuclear Reactor (ITER) and the future planned DEMOnstration Power Plant (DEMO) fusion reactor types there are some similar materials related issues associated with the many other systems being explored worldwide. Conclusions are then made about the future for ferroelectric materials in fusion reactors and some of the research challenges that need to be addressed.

Nuclear fusion
Nuclear fusion

 

X-ray & Neutron Scattering in Multiferroic and Ferroelectric Materials Research Workshop IV

..was held on 3 Nov 2016

The meetings are co-organised by the Smart Materials & Systems Committee of the UK's Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, Electrosciences Ltd (Director Prof Markys G. Cain) and The XMaS Beamline (Paul Thompson).

Multiferroic materials offer the opportunity for many new types of devices - from ultralow magnetic field sensors to new types of multiple state memories.

Much has been learnt of these materials through the use of diffraction and spectroscopy methods through synchrotron and neutron scattering combined with other methods, including bulk and thin film metrology and atomistic modelling.

The X-ray & Neutron Scattering in Multiferroics Research workshops comprise a series of one day meetings designed to bring together experts from the multiferroics, magnetoelectrics and ferroelectrics communities with neutron and synchrotron facility users to present the latest developments in this field. The meetings are co-organised by the Smart Materials & Systems Committee of the UK's Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, Electrosciences Ltd (Director Prof Markys G. Cain) and The XMaS Beamline (Paul Thompson).

Multiferroic materials offer the opportunity for many new types of devices - from ultralow magnetic field sensors to new types of multiple state memories. Much has been learnt of these materials through the use of diffraction and spectroscopy methods through synchrotron and neutron scattering combined with other methods, including bulk and thin film metrology and atomistic modelling.

The X-ray & Neutron Scattering in Multiferroics & Ferroelectrics Research workshops comprise a series of one day meetings designed to bring together experts from the multiferroics, magnetoelectrics and ferroelectrics communities with neutron and synchrotron facility users to present the latest developments in this field.

The meeting was held at IOM3 London Headquarters.

Smart Actuation 2016: Industrial Applications - IMECHE Workshop

..was held on 29 September 2016, IMechE Engineering Training Centre, Sheffield

Smart Actuation 2016 will feature case studies from those pioneering the latest smart actuation technology across engineering industries including automotive and medical. The programme will take you through the current developments in smart actuation, from best practice in harnessing the piezo technology to the latest smart materials such as shape memory alloys. This is a must-attend event that will bring industry end-users and manufacturers together with the materials and systems specialists to discuss the developments in applications of smart actuation. Now is the time to hear about the latest developments in industrial applications of smart actuation following exponential growth in this area. This is the only event to be held in the UK for engineers focusing on the latest industrial applications of smart and advanced actuation technologies. Take this chance to learn from others and network with key industry figures.

Organising committee:
• Mechatronics, Informatics and Control Group, The Institution of Mechanical Engineers
• Smart Materials and Systems Committee, The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3)
Members Credits:
• Professor Markys Cain, FIMMM, CPhys, Director, Electrosciences Ltd
• Steve Morris, Knowledge Transfer Manager - Smart Materials and Emerging Technologies, Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN)
• John Webster, Part Time Experimental Officer, University of Nottingham

Download Programme sem6411_sa16_br_01_02.

 

Electrosciences Ltd technically leads H2020 project in nanoelectronics

Electrosciences announces the start of a multinational project funded by the European Commission under the H2020 ICT Programme: PETMEM
(Piezoelectronic Transduction Memory Device).

New nanoscale electronics
New nanoscale electronics

“Computer clock speeds have not significantly increased since 2003, creating a challenge to invent a successor to CMOS technology able to resume the improvement in clock speed and power performance. The key requirements for a viable alternative are scalability to nanoscale dimensions – following Moore’s Law – and simultaneous reduction of line voltage in order to limit switching power. Achieving these two aims for both transistors and memory allows clock speed to again increase with dimensional scaling, a result that would have great impact across the IT industry. PETMEM is a European partnership amongst Universities, Research Institutions, SMEs and a large company that will focus on the development of new materials and characterization tools to enable the fabrication of an entirely new low-voltage, memory element. This element makes use of internal transduction in which a voltage state external to the device is converted to an internal acoustic signal that drives an insulator-metal transition. Modelling based on the properties of known materials at device dimensions on the 15 nm scale predicts that this mechanism enables device operation at voltages an order of magnitude lower than CMOS technology (power is reduced two orders) while achieving 10GHz operating speed.”

The consortium that will develop PETMEM technologies comprises 11 partners: Bio Nano Consulting (London UK), IBM Research (Zurich, Switzerland), Max Planck Institute (Dresden and Halle, Germany), Solmates (Enschede, The Netherlands), SINTEF (Oslo, Norway), National Physical Laboratory (Teddington UK), University of Edinburgh (Edinburgh, UK), University of Gent (Gent, Belgium), Aixacct (Aachen Germany), Electrosciences Ltd (Surrey, UK) and DCA (Turku, Finland).

Electrosciences Ltd will act as the technical coordinator for the consortium.

New papers recently published by Electrosciences Ltd

"Dielectric constants of bulk ferroelectric PZT measured by terahertz time-domain spectroscopy,” , M. Naftaly, M. G. Cain, S. Lepadatu, T. Buchacher & J. Allam, Advances in Applied Ceramics, Jan. 2016.

The complex permittivity of bulk ceramic ferroelectric of nominal composition PbZr0.4Ti0.6O3 was measured in the range 0.2–2 THz using transmission time-domain spectroscopy. The results indicate strong absorption and dispersion in this frequency range as often seen in highly disordered and polar materials. The results are compared to equivalent thin film data in the literature, and significant differences in the real and imaginary permittivity suggest that substrate clamping and degree of polarisation of the ferroelectric thin film materials affect dielectric properties even at these high frequencies.


“Simultaneous dynamic electrical and structural measurements of functional materials,” C. Vecchini, P. Thompson, M. Stewart, A. Muniz-Piniella, S. R. C. McMitchell, J. Wooldridge, S. Lepadatu, L. Bouchenoire, S. Brown, D. Wermeille, O. Bikondoa, C. A. Lucas, T. P. A. Hase, M. Lesourd, D. Dontsov, and M. G. Cain, Rev. Sci. Instrum., vol. 86, no. 10, pp. 103901–10, Oct. 2015.

A new materials characterization system developed at the XMaS beamline, located at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in France, is presented. We show that this new capability allows to measure the atomic structural evolution (crystallography) of piezoelectric materials whilst simultaneously measuring the overall strain characteristics and electrical response to dynamically (ac) applied external stimuli.