Electrically coupling complex oxides to semiconductors: A route to novel material functionalities

Abstract

Complex oxides and semiconductors exhibit distinct yet complementary properties owing to their respective ionic and covalent natures. By electrically coupling complex oxides to traditional semiconductors within epitaxial heterostructures, enhanced or novel functionalities beyond those of the constituent materials can potentially be realized. Essential to electrically coupling complex oxides to semiconductors is control of the physical structure of the epitaxially grown oxide, as well as the electronic structure of the interface. Here we discuss how composition of the perovskite A- and B-site cations can be manipulated to control the physical and electronic structure of semiconductor—complex oxide heterostructures. Two prototypical heterostructures, Ba1−xSrxTiO3/Ge and SrZrxTi1−xO3/Ge, will be discussed. In the case of Ba1−xSrxTiO3/Ge, we discuss how strain can be engineered through A-site composition to enable the re-orientable ferroelectric polarization of the former to be coupled to carriers in the semiconductor. In the case of SrZrxTi1−xO3/Ge we discuss how B-site composition can be exploited to control the band offset at the interface. Analogous to heterojunctions between compound semiconducting materials, control of band offsets, i.e., band-gap engineering, provides a pathway to electrically couple complex oxides to semiconductors to realize a host of functionalities.

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

This work was supported by the University of Texas at Arlington and the National Science Foundation (NSF) under DMR-1508530. The work performed at Yale University was supported by the NSF under DMR-1309868. The work performed at Brookhaven National Laboratory was supported by U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, under Contract No. DEAC02-98CH10886. The work performed at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Division of Materials Sciences and Engineering under Award 10122, and was carried out in the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, a national science user facility sponsored by the Department of Energy’s Office of Biological and Environmental Research and located at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

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Correspondence to J. H. Ngai.

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Ngai, J.H., Ahmadi-Majlan, K., Moghadam, J. et al. Electrically coupling complex oxides to semiconductors: A route to novel material functionalities. Journal of Materials Research 32, 249–259 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1557/jmr.2016.496

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