The U.S. Air Force has awarded a research grant of $2.9 million to scientists developing electronics that will operate at more than 200 degrees Celsius without external cooling.
The research team will analyze a Quasi-2Dimensional-Electron Gas (Q-2D-EG) forming at an oxide-heterointerface. The research will study the interfaces between a lanthanum aluminum oxide film deposited on to a strontium titanate single crystal substrate and ways of processing the materials with controlled variation of defects, inter-facial strains caused by different materials, and surface conditions, all as a function of temperature.
The electron-gas-producing interfaces can be designed as transistors and are applicable for developing next generation nano-scale, non-volatile memory devices, the researchers say. The research team which aims to produce hardier electronics, materials and devices also plans to develop a new way to use the interfaces for applications such as memristors; another type of memory device dependent on the defects in the film.
“This is temperamental stuff: only when you have a certain film on a certain substrate at a certain orientation and thickness, and prepared in a certain way does it work. The films we are talking about are only a few atomic layers thick” said Alp Sehirlioglu, an assistant research professor of materials science and engineering at Case Western Reserve, and leader of the investigation.
Industries like Air and space, automotive, electronics, oil and gas drilling and nuclear will be benefited by the research.