Tailoring Oxide Properties by Defect Engineering

Technologies often rely on the nominal properties of a presumed crystalline bulk oxide phase. However, most oxides are poorly crystalline or even amorphous depending on the fabrication, processing and service conditions. The presence of structural and electronic defects can result in strong deviations from ideal bulk properties (e.g. electronic and ionic conductivities, chemical reactivity, biocompatibility, wettability), which can be beneficial or detrimental to the application. Our research aims at fundamental knowledge on the role of defects (e.g. O vacancies, impurities, dopants, intrinsic stress, lack of long-range order) in functional oxides on their electronic and (electro)chemical properties, as required for oxide defect engineering in real-life applications (e.g. microelectronics, sensors, corrosion protection, medical implants, catalysis, joining).

OUR RESEARCH

  • Fabrication of metal oxides (e.g. Ti, Al, Fe, W, Si) by different synthesis techniques (see below)

  • Characterization of defect structures and electronic properties of oxides using a wide range of advanced surface and bulk-sensitive analytical methods (see below)

  • Chemical state analysis of oxide films with depth-dependent defect structures by soft and hard X-ray Photoelectron Spoctroscopy (XPS/HAXPES)

  • Interaction of H with defective oxides and identification of H-related defects

OXIDE SYNTHESIS

  • Reactive Magnetron Sputtering (including in-situ stress monitoring)
  • Thermal oxidation
  • Anodization

    Internal collaboration:

  • Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD)
  • Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD)

OXIDE CHARACTERIZATION

  • Soft and Hard X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS/HAXPES)
  • X-ray Diffraction (XRD)
  • Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS)
  • Atomic Force and Kelvin Probe Microscopy (AFM/KPFM)
  • Photo-Electrochemistry
  • Local electrochemistry by in-house developed glass microcapillary techniques (click here)
  • High-Resolution Scanning and Transmission Electron Microscopy (HR-SEM / HR-TEM)

    Internal collaboration

  • Ellipsometry
  • Cathode and Photo Luminescence
  • Transport properties (conductivity)
  • Raman and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopies (FT-IR)
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Your contacts
Dr. Claudia Cancellieri

Dr. Claudia Cancellieri
Principal Scientist

Telefon: +41 58 765 4324
claudia.cancellieri@empa.ch

 

Dr. Lars Jeurgens
Lab Head

Phone: +41 58 765 40 53
lars.jeurgens@empa.ch

 

Dr. Patrik Schmutz

Dr. Patrik Schmutz
Group Leader (Deputy)

Phone: +41 58 765 4845
patrik.schmutz@empa.ch