'Dative epitaxy': A new way to stack crystal films

Scientists have grown thin films of two different crystalline materials on top of each other using an innovative technique called "dative epitaxy." The researchers discovered the method by surprise.

Solar hydrogen: Better photoelectrodes through flash heating

Producing low-cost metal-oxide thin films with high electronic quality for solar water splitting is not an easy task. Especially since quality improvements of the upper metal oxide thin films need thermal processing at high ...

A new class of materials for nanoscale patterning

The microscopic components that make up computer chips must be made at staggering scales. With billions of transistors in a single processor, each made of multiple materials carefully arranged in patterns as thin as a strand ...

Controlling thin films with atomic 'spray painting'

Without thin films, there would be no modern electronics or high-quality mirrors. The semiconductor chips used in our cell phones and computers rely on thin films made of different materials, including metal oxides that contain ...

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Thin film

Thin films are thin material layers ranging from fractions of a nanometre to several micrometres in thickness. Electronic semiconductor devices and optical coatings are the main applications benefiting from thin film construction.

Work is being done with ferromagnetic thin films for use as computer memory. It is also being applied to pharmaceuticals, via thin film drug delivery. Thin-films are used to produce thin-film batteries.

Ceramic thin films are in wide use. The relatively high hardness and inertness of ceramic materials make this type of thin coating of interest for protection of substrate materials against corrosion, oxidation and wear. In particular, the use of such coatings on cutting tools can extend the life of these items by several orders of magnitude.

Research is being done on a new class of thin film inorganic oxide materials, called amorphous heavy-metal cation multicomponent oxide, which could be used to make transparent transistors that are inexpensive, stable, and environmentally benign.

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