Researchers of the Institute of Applied Electrodynamics and Telecommunications of Vilnius University (VU) Faculty of Physics, Dr Andrius Džiaugys and Prof Jūras Banys, have published the results of their research in the prestigious journal Nature Communications. This work is the result of a long-lasting cooperation between the Laboratory of Microwave Spectroscopy and Uzhgorod National University (Ukraine) as well as the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (USA). The experimental research was carried out in the USA after A. Džiaugys was awarded with the prestigious BAFF (Baltic - American Freedom Foundation) scholarship.
Graphene is a two-dimensional (2D) material that was first isolated in 2004 in Europe, and the researchers who isolated and researched it were awarded the Nobel Prize in 2010. Although the applicability of graphene to high-performance electronic switches and other optoelectronic devices is complicated because it does not have the reserve energy band gap characteristic of semiconductors, alternative 2D materials such as chalcogenophosphates may help here.
Polar van der Waals chalcogenophosphates have unique properties such as negative electrostriction and ferroelectricity, and allow the combination of dielectric and 2D electronic materials. Through the use of low-temperature piezoelectric force microscopy (PFM), the coexistence of piezoelectric and non-piezoelectric phases in the CuInP2Se6 crystal was established, which caused the formation of unusual, piezoelectric domain walls never observed before.
From the fundamental point of view, this is a new discovery as the multifunctionality of domain walls becomes the subject of research by many researchers. Recently, scientists around the world have been paying more attention to miniaturization and complex use of material properties in the latest technologies. One of the most promising two-dimensional materials is ferroelectrics being studied by VU scientists.
The obtained new and unique results were published in the prestigious journal Nature Communications. The article by the scientists is available here.