Jun 22, 2023

Using electric fields to control the movement of defects in crystals

Posted by in categories: computing, engineering

An international team of researchers, led by University of Toronto Engineering Professor Yu Zou, is using electric fields to control the motion of material defects. This work has important implications for improving the properties and manufacturing processes of typically brittle ionic and covalent crystals, including semiconductors—a crystalline material that is a central component of electronic chips used for computers and other modern devices.

In a new study published in Nature Materials, researchers from University of Toronto Engineering, Dalhousie University, Iowa State University and Peking University, present real-time observations of dislocation motion in a single-crystalline that was controlled using an external electric field.

“This research opens the possibility of regulating dislocation-related properties, such as mechanical, electrical, thermal and phase-transition properties, through using an electric field, rather than conventional methods” says Ph.D. candidate Mingqiang Li, the first author of the new paper.

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