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Superlattice antiferroelectric materials can be made into capacitors that are 100 times smaller in size

Superlattice antiferroelectric materials can be made into capacitors that are 100 times smaller in size

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  • Time of issue:2022-08-12
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(Summary description)One obstacle to reducing modern electronic products is their relatively large capacitors. Now, scientists have developed new "superlattices" that may help manufacture capacitors that are one percent smaller than traditional capacitors.

Superlattice antiferroelectric materials can be made into capacitors that are 100 times smaller in size

(Summary description)One obstacle to reducing modern electronic products is their relatively large capacitors. Now, scientists have developed new "superlattices" that may help manufacture capacitors that are one percent smaller than traditional capacitors.

  • Categories:Company news
  • Author:
  • Origin:
  • Time of issue:2022-08-12
  • Views:0
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One obstacle to reducing modern electronic products is their relatively large capacitors. Now, scientists have developed new "superlattices" that may help manufacture capacitors that are one percent smaller than traditional capacitors.

Batteries store energy in a chemical form, while capacitors store energy in an electric field. Batteries typically have a higher energy density than capacitors, as they can store more energy equivalent to their own weight. However, capacitors typically have a higher power density than batteries, and they charge and discharge faster. This makes capacitors very useful in applications involving power pulses.

Due to the low energy density of capacitors, it is difficult to miniaturize them. Anti ferroelectric materials can help solve this problem. Just like a magnet, the charge in the material will also split into the positive and negative poles. Antiferroelectrics refer to materials with "electric dipoles" typically facing opposite directions, resulting in overall zero polarization. However, when antiferroelectrics are exposed to a sufficiently strong electric field, they can switch to high polarization, resulting in a high energy density.

Materials physicist Hugo Aramberri from the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology said, "Capacitors made of antiferroelectric materials may be much smaller than traditional capacitors, which will help miniaturize electronic circuits

However, there are relatively few known natural antiferroelectric materials. In a new study, Alam Berry and his colleagues attempted to design artificial structures similar to antiferroelectrics. Scientists have turned to ferroelectric and quasi electric materials. Ferroelectrics are materials in which electric dipoles are normally oriented in the same direction, resulting in polarization. On the contrary, a paraelectric material is a material in which the electric dipoles are only arranged in the presence of an electric field.

Then, the team constructed a superlattice composed of ferroelectric lead titanate (PbTiO3) and quasi electric strontium titanate (SrTiO3). The reason why it is called a superlattice is because lead titanate and strontium titanate are arranged in a lattice structure, and they are also placed in alternating thin layers.

Scientists attempt to optimize the energy storage density and energy release efficiency of different materials at room temperature by conducting experiments on their properties, including layer thickness, layer stiffness, and strain of the layer's foundation.

In the simulation, scientists found that their best superlattices can store over 110 joules per cubic centimeter under an electric field of 3.5 megavolts per centimeter. At this field strength, this is better than almost all known antiferroelectric capacitors. Only one complex perovskite solid solution exhibits 154 joules per cubic centimeter at 3.5 megavolts per centimeter, which is currently the highest energy density record at this field strength.

The energy storage density of traditional capacitors is more than 100 times lower than the energy storage density of some artificial antiferroelectrics predicted in our research, which means that our superlattice may be used to manufacture capacitors that are 100 times smaller in volume than traditional capacitors.

Alaberry pointed out that when selecting capacitors, in addition to energy density, there are also some factors that must be considered, such as power density. These are worthy of further research to evaluate the feasibility of our superlattice for commercial use.

He also warned that the lattice they studied contains lead, and the toxicity of lead greatly limits its technological application. Nevertheless, we believe that our work provides a proof of concept that artificial antiferroelectrics can be customized by ferroelectrics and auxiliary electronics, and this idea is not fundamentally related to the specific materials chosen for building modules. In summary, these new findings indicate that in many practical applications, we may be able to use specially made artificial antiferroelectrics instead of inherent antiferroelectrics.

The next step will be to test our simulation on real samples. Measuring other characteristics is interesting, such as how much voltage they can withstand, their endurance for long-term use, and ultimately their commercial feasibility. The latter relies to some extent on scalable and inexpensive high-quality oxide superlattice manufacturing technologies that have not yet been fully developed

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