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Thursday, 22 February, 2024 - 15:00
Event Location: 

Goldsmiths' Lecture Room 2

Speaker: Dr Chiara Gattinoni, Dept. of Physics, Kings College, London

The behaviour of nanoscale forms of matter, such as thin films or nanocrystal, is strongly influenced by the structure and behaviour of their surfaces and interfaces. In nanoscale ferroelectrics, a surface charge arises as a consequence of the ferroelectric polarization itself, and this surface charge leads to an electrostatic instability – the so-called “polar catastrophe” – if it is not compensated. Here we show how the properties of ferroelectric materials at the nanoscale are intimately linked to the compensation mechanism that takes place at their surface. We also demonstrate how the structural and electronic properties of PbTiO3, BiFeO3 and KTaO3 lead to a different compensation mechanism in each case, and we discuss how to harness the properties of these nanoscale materials for applications in microelectronics and catalysis.