Near Room Temperature Growth of Dilute Magnetic Semiconductor Oxides: Visiting Fellowship for Dr. Ying Lin Liu

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Materials Science & Metallurgy


Dilute magnetic semiconductors (DMS) represent a fascinating new class of magnetic materials. They are made by adding small amounts of magnetic materials to semiconductors. Sometimes, it seems that the magnetism arises without such magnetic additions and is related to defects (e.g. when the crystals have missing atoms) in the semiconductors. New Physics is required to explain the DMS mechanism. In this proposal, we are interested in oxides which have potential for applications at room temperature (e.g. to be used in new components in computers). We will study near-room temperature electrochemical growth of films which we find consistently produce the DMS effect. Indeed, electrochemistry is a new way to grow such DMS oxides and it is hoped that by studying the materials made by this method we will understand more about the DMS mechanism.


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MacManus-Driscoll J (2007) Structural Evidence for Zn Intersititials in Ferromagnetic Zn1-xCoxO Films in Advanced Materials

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Schmidt-Mende L (2007) ZnO - nanostructures, defects, and devices in Materials Today

Description We showed how to control defects in oxide dilute magnetic semiconductors. We clearly pinpointed which defects lead to magnetism. All these oxide materials are very complex and the magnetic signals are only weak. So commericial exploitation will be complex.
Exploitation Route We have learnt an enormous amount about the limitations of thin film oxides. This has a wider context to electronic oxides of other sorts. This is solid basic science which does not have an outcome tomorrow.
Sectors Electronics