STSM reports 2 year

Urszula Klekotka

Home Institution: University of Bialystok (Poland)

Host Institution: Free University of Berlin (Germany)

STSM period: 15.11.2015/21.11.2015

Brief Summary of the STSM activity:

During STSM, I have learned how to prepare stable solutions of pure magnetite and core-shell nanoparticles with additive cobalt-oxide shell. The main goal of my visit was to find the ratio between solvent and surfactant, in order to obtain stable ferrofluid, in which magnetic interaction between spices are in balance with electrostatic repulsion of surfactant. To do so, I have also learned how to exchange surface termination from organic to inorganic phase. In the end, all types of prepared nanoparticles were imaged by TEM.

Impact: strengthening of collaboartaion between Home and Host institutions and opening a new
possibility to start cooperation with the Host in other fields. The work is in progress and no results were publicated or presented in conference yet.

Blai Casals Montserrat

Home Institution:Institut de ciència de materials de Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC), Catalonia, Spain

Host Institution: Department of Applied Physics, Aalto University School of Science, Finland.

STSM period: 2016-01-21 to 2016-02-11

Brief Summary of STSM activity:

We have used optical and magneto-optical imaging to analyze the spatial distributions of ferroelastic twin domains in SrTiO3 crystals under the application of in-situ applied electric field. Our work has enabled us to identify the sign of the anisotropy of the low-temperature dielectric behavior of SrTiO3. Interestingly, the theoretical frame that we have developed to describe this anisotropy indicates the essential role of the emergence of an antiferroelectric displacement of the Ti ions that couples to polar and antiferrodistortive lattice modes. Our observations are very relevant for applications where understanding and controlling the distribution of all types of ferroelastic domains is essential for nanotechnology design.

Impact: Publication: Blai Casals, Andrea Schiaffino, Arianna Casiraghi, Sampo J. Hämäläinen, Diego López González, Sebastiaan van Dijken, Massimiliano Stengel, and Gervasi Herranz. Low-temperature dielectric anisotropy driven by an antiferroelectric mode in SrTiO3. Accepted on Phys. Rev. Lett. (6 april 2018).

Sergio Orazio Battiato

Home Institution: Università degli Studi di Catania

Host Institution: Laboratoire des Matériaux et du Génie Physique, Grenoble, France

STSM period: 17.01.2016/24.01.2016

Brief Summary of the STSM activity:

The aim of the STSM was essentially the training in spatial ALD process, an emerging and attractive method to deposit high quality thin films. A study of the ALD deposition of AgCuO2 thin films, new types of semiconductor materials of great technological interest, has been assessed. For this purpose, it is necessary to dispose of good quality precursors, in terms of mass transport properties, such as volatility and thermal stability. In this context, the poor avalaibility of volatile silver precursors represents an issue for silver thin films synthesis. The possibility to implement in the SALD process the silver and copper precursors Ag(hfa)phenanthroline, Ag(hfa)triglyme and Ag-Cu(trost)(hfa), synthesized at the laboratories of University of Catania, has been discussed. These precursors are expected to be very suitable for the AgCuO2 ALD growth. The processing parameters for the ALD growth of AgCuO2 films have been discussed and defined.

Impact: Foreseen publications or conference presentations expected to result from the STSM. It is expected that at least one publication will be produced, reporting the use of new Ag precursors to deposit Ag metallic films and complex Ag-Cu oxides by SALD.

Eleni Aza

Home Institution:Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser, Foundation for Research and Technology Heraklion, Greece

Host Institution: Department of Physics, The University of Warwick

STSM period: 2016-01-18 to 2016-02-14

Brief Summary of STSM activity:

During this mission we intensified training on the Floating Zone technique and pursued a quality single crystal growth of frustrated 2D magnetic systems by controlling the stages of the preparation and sintering of the rods as well as the conditions during the growth. Our goal was to overcome the main challenge that we faced during our first exploratory attempts which was the decomposition and evaporation of material during the growth that complicated the formation of a stable molten zone.
The STSM reached the end successfully with crystal boules up to 4.5 cm length for one of the 2 polymorphs of our 2D Manganese oxide system but still facing the challenge of a 2-phase melt. After optimizing the growth conditions of one polymorph of interest, we are encouraged to proceed with further characterization of our crystals and pursue a growth protocol for the rest of the polymorphs under study in collaboration with the Host Institution.

Impact: This second visit has been crucial for the progress on the “quest for single crystals” of Na-Mn-O system. The latest achieved results allowed us to further pursuit beam time at large-scale facilities for neutron diffraction (ISIS facility) and X-Ray Powder Diffraction (BNL Institute), shedding light on the impact of the atomic arrangement on the evolution of the magnetic properties. 
Our findings will be reported in a publication which is under preparation.

Umesh Kumar Bhaskar

Home Institution: Catalan institute of nanotechnology

Host Institution: MESA University of Twente

STSM period: 24/01/2016 to 30/01/2016

Brief Summary of STSM activity:

The STSM provided an ideal opportunity for extended discussions on recent results obtained about the influence of flexoelectricity in centerosymmetric and non centerosymmetric crystals. Additionally the STSM provided an understanding of the experimental capabilities and competencies of the host institution and fostered discussion about future collaboration projects.

Impact: The visit facilitated discussion of ideas and the identification of challenges hindering their pursuit. However, to obtain publishable results, extensive work has to be made for the fabrication and characterization of the proposed devices.

Marisa Maltez-da Costa

web report not yet submitted


Tjasa Parkelj

Home Institution: Advanced materials department, Jožef Stefan Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Host Institution: IMS Group, University of Twente, Netherlands

STSM period: 14.02.2016/05.03.2016

Brief Summary of STSM activity:

The main goal of the STSM was to study the SrTiO3(001) surface prepared by PLD homoepitaxy by STM thanks to the IMS unique UHV system, combining PLD and STM systems. During the sample preparation and analysis, the grantee received experience in RHEED growth monitoring and STM imaging of perovskite oxide surfaces.

In the framework of a group internal workshop the grantee also received some basic AFM and XRD and training.

Impact: The STSM provided an ideal opportunity for an extensive exchange of experience on STO homoepitaxy and STM of oxide surfaces. Additionally, the STSM provided an understanding of the experimental capabilities and competencies of the Host institution. Home and Host Institutions continued fostering the collaboration and are now working together on a new project about integration of oxides with silicon.


Urska Gabor

Home Institution: Jožef Stefan Institute (JSI)

Host Institution: University of Twente (UT), IMS Group, Netherlands

STSM period: 15/02/2016 – 05/03/2016

Brief Summary of STSM activity:

I deposited Pb(Mg1/3Nb2/3)O3-PbTiO3 (PMN-PT) thin films by means of pulsed-laser deposition (PLD) using targets from my Home and Host Institution (stoichiometric target from UT and a target with PbO excess from JSI). We analyzed the samples using X-ray diffraction and compared the results. We used a CCD camera, installed on the PLD system at UT, to image the plasma plumes arising from the ablation of the two types of targets. Comparison of plasma plume images showed that the same spectral lines were present in both targets at all timeframes. However, the intensity of the lines was higher in the target with PbO excess, indicating which lines correspond to the Pb-related species. I also visited two companies, involved in the manufacture of PLD systems – TSST and SolMateS. It was very interesting to see the transition from research-to industrial-scale PLD systems, manufactured at SolMateS, to obtain an understanding of the different demands.

Impact: The STSM enabled collaboration with the IMS group and offered new insight into the properties of PMN-PT thin films.


Jagoda Slawinska

Home Institution: Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Madrid (ICMM-CSIC), Madrid, Spain

Host Institution: Istituto Superconduttori Materiali Innovativi e Dispositivi (CNR-SPIN), Chieti, Italy

STSM period: 21.02.2016/27.02.2016

Brief Summary of STSM activity:

We have investigated the electronic structure of the rutile binary iridate, IrO2. By combining ARPES measurements with DFT-based calculations (with and without SOC), we have unveiled the relevant features of the band structure, including spin-orbit induced avoided crossing, likely to play a key role in the spin Hall effect. The good agreement between theory and experiments shows that the single-particle DFT description of IrO2 band structure is adequate, without the need of invoking any treatment of correlation effects beyond DFT. The results show features strongly dependent on the k vector normal to the (110) surface probed in experiment (pointing to the 3D nature of IrO2 electronic structure), coexisting with undispersed bands. The analysis of the orbital character of the relevant bands crossing the Fermi levels has shed more light on SOC-driven phenomena in this material.

Impact: Publications:
Pranab Kumar Das, Jagoda Sławińska, Ivana Vobornik, Jun Fujii, Anna Regoutz, Juhan M. Kahk, David O. Scanlon, Benjamin J. Morgan, Cormac McGuinness, Evgeny Plekhanov, Domenico Di Sante, Ying-Sheng Huang, Ruei-San Chen, Giorgio Rossi, Silvia Picozzi, William R. Branford, Giancarlo Panaccione and David J. Payne, The role of spin-orbit coupling in the electronic structure of IrO2, accepted for publication in Physical Review Materials

Matteo Salvato

Home Institution: Università degli Studi di Roma “Tor Vergata”

Host Institution: Chalmers University of Technology

STSM period: 08/02/2016 – 04/03/2016

Brief Summary of STSM activity:

Fabrication of nanostructures on single interface superconducting samples made by two insulating oxides and preliminary measurements.

Impact: “Superconducting Properties of Non-Centrosymmetric Nb0.18Re0.82 Thin Films Probed by Transport and Tunneling Experiments” C. Cirillo, G. Carapella, M. Salvato, R. Arpaia, M. Caputo, C. Attanasio Phys. Rev. B 94, 104512 (2016).

Kumara Cordero

web report not yet submitted

Mantas Simenas

web report not yet submitted

Ana Mrakovic

web report not yet submitted

Juan Carlos Gonzalez Rosillo

Home Institution: Institut de Ciència de Materials de Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC)

Host Institution: Forschungszentrum Jülich

STSM period: 07/03/2016 – 18/03/2016

Brief Summary of STSM activity:

Resistive Switching effect is in a superb position to tackle the challenges in the near future of nanoelectronics. Materials-wise, the outstanding properties of strongly correlated metallic perovskite oxides, in particular, those displaying Metal-Insulator Transition can be exploited for a new generation of devices with excellent performance. Two main objectives were proposed in this Short Term Scientific Mission (STSM). First, to study the influence of different atmospheres on the resistive switching properties of bare La0.8Sr0.2MnO3 (LSMO) and Ag/CeO2/LSMO/CeO2/Ag devices. Second, to study the switching dynamics of both systems by means of pulse measurements from the nanosecond to the second regime. Different atmospheres (O2, vacuum and air) have a strong influence on the resistive switching parameters of the bare LSMO system while has no influence on the Ag/CeO2/LSMO devices. For the pulse measurements, a nanosecond switching time has been found for both systems, and a ultra non-linear behaviour has been found for the Ag/CeO2/LSMO devices.

Impact: This work has been presented at the TO-BE Spring Meeting 2017 held in Luxembourg and at MRS Spring 2018 held in Phoenix (USA). A manuscript containing this research has already been submitted.

Vincenzo Buscaglia

Home Institution: National Research Council of Italy

Host Institution: “Alexander Ioan Cuza” University, Iasi, Romania

STSM period: 04-04-2016 / 04-09-2016

Brief Summary of the STSM activity:

The STSM has been organized by the host institution in form of a three day workshop with title “Synthesis and characterization, modeling of oxides based ferroelectric materials”. During the workshop, the experimental results for different systems were presented and critically discussed and, when required, additional work was planned. The main topics were:
1. the influence of grain size on the dielectric properties of Ba0.85Ca0.15Ti0.9Zr0.1 ceramics:
2. the phase transitions and the phase diagram of the BaCexTi(1-x)O3 system.
3. the phase transitions in Eu-doped BaZrxTi(1-x)O3 (BTEu) ceramics and the use of photoluminescence spectra as a probe for detecting phase transitions in ferroelectrics.
As dissemination activity, a tutorial lecture “Engineering the phase transitions in barium titanate: from basic science to application in multilayer ceramic capacitors” has been given.

Publications: Giovanna Canu, Giorgia Confalonieri, Marco Deluca, Lavinia Curecheriu, Maria Teresa Buscaglia, Mihai Asandulesa, Nadejda Horchidan, Monica Dapiaggi, Liliana Mitoseriu, Vincenzo Buscaglia, Structure-property correlations and origin of relaxor behaviour in BaCexTi1-xO3, ACTA MATERIALIA 152 (2018) 258-268.