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Collaboration of UFABC and Yokohama National University for the theory of nanostructures at interfaces and embedded inside bulk materials


Nanotechnology offers conventional electronics in miniature side, as well as a wide range of completely new devices that allow control of electronic, optical, magnetic, structural, or mechanical properties by external "switching" via external perturbations, such as electric or magnetic fields, illumination, or mechanical deformation. A lot of this has already been realized in single atom or single molecule junctions [1,2], or simple nanostructures on surfaces [3]. However, due to their interesting functionalities such nanoparticles or nanostructures are very reactive, and remain very vulnerable to ambient conditions (atmosphere, temperature, pressure). For robust and durable nanotechnological devices, we propose to embed nanostructures inside bulk material. This may be used to functionalize an interface, or develop entirely new bulk materials functionalized by the embedded nanodevices. In the same way as developments in semiconductor theory half a century ago allowed for the leap from vacuum tubes to semiconductor transistors, the theory of embedded nanostructures will enable the mass production and commercialization of nanotechnology.The objective of this project is to develop the theory of nanoclusters and nanowires inside bulk insulators, as well as the microscopic theory of bulk/nanostructure interfaces. We focus on metallic nanostructures inside bulk insulators or semiconductors, and in particular investigate systems with exotic magnetic properties. This combines the expertise of both groups on magnetic impurities in semiconductors [4,5], nanocrystals/nanoclusters [6] and nanowires [7,8]. Both groups have 10+ years of research experience in the theoretical study of both semiconductor and nanoscale systems.This is a theoretical project, but our work will be guided by experiment where available. Thus far, nanoclusters and nanowires have only accidentally been introduced in semiconductors [9,10], which has been speculated to lead to ferromagnetic semiconductors. However, the properties of these materials remain poorly characterized, and theoretical descriptions are limited to a few special cases [11,12,13]. In addition to such exotic magnetic properties, we shall also focus on electrical conductivity across interfaces, band lineup, and the formation of Schottky barriers, which will enable the design of conventional electronics components ranging from diodes to photovoltaic cells. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
RAEBIGER, HANNES; PADILHA, ANTONIO CLAUDIO M.; ROCHA, ALEXANDRE REILY; DALPIAN, GUSTAVO M.. Electronic mechanism for resistive switching in metal/insulator/metal nanodevices. JOURNAL OF PHYSICS D-APPLIED PHYSICS, v. 53, n. 29, . (11/21719-8, 13/22577-8, 15/05830-7)
PADILHA, A. C. M.; RAEBIGER, H.; ROCHA, A. R.; DALPIAN, G. M.. Charge storage in oxygen deficient phases of TiO2: defect Physics without defects. SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, v. 6, . (10/16202-3, 13/22577-8, 15/05830-7, 11/19924-2, 11/21719-8)

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