Jacksonville, Fla. – Physics researchers at the University of North Florida’s Atomic LEGO Lab discovered a new electronic phenomenon they call “asymmetric ferroelectricity”. The research led by Dr. Maitri Warusawithana, UNF physics assistant professor, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Illinois and the Arizona State University, demonstrated this phenomenon for the first time in engineered two-dimensional crystals.
This discovery of asymmetric ferroelectricity in engineered crystals comes exactly 100 years following the discovery of ferroelectricity in certain naturally occurring crystals. Ferroelectric crystals – crystals that show two equal bistable polarization states – are now used in many high-tech applications including solid-state memory, RFID cards, sensors and precision actuators.
Utilizing atomic-scale materials design, the team of researchers has demonstrated a qualitatively new phenomenon, asymmetric ferroelectricity, for the first time. These engineered crystals lead to an asymmetric bi-stability with two unequal stable polarization states in contrast to a natural ferroelectric.
Warusawithana hopes this first observation of asymmetric ferroelectricity achieved through materials-by-design will further research on tailored electronic properties and may find its way into interesting technological applications.
The new discovery is featured in the physics journal, Physical Review B.
About University of North Florida
The University of North Florida is a nationally ranked university located on a beautiful 1,381-acre campus in Jacksonville surrounded by nature. Serving more than 17,000 students, UNF features six colleges of distinction with innovative programs in high-demand fields. UNF students receive individualized attention from faculty and gain valuable real-world experience engaging with community partners. A top public university, UNF prepares students to make a difference in Florida and around the globe. Learn more at www.unf.edu.
Physical Review B
Asymmetric ferroelectricity by design in atomic-layer superlattices with broken inversion symmetry
Article Publication Date