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April 20th 2019

Many metal-oxygen compounds are electrical insulators. Some combinations of such insulating oxides have conducting interfaces, however. This conduction is two-dimensional: electrons can move along the contact surface but not in the third direction. In this programme, researchers want to further investigate characteristics of these conducting interfaces, especially the application in the next generations of nanoelectronics and sensors.

The combinations of oxides have considerable potential for electronic switches with dimensions smaller than about 10 nanometres, which is problematic using conventional semiconductors. The type of oxides determine exactly which functionalities the material acquires, such as a magnetism, ferro-electricity, piezoelectricity or high-temperature superconducting. By making different combinations of materials and structuring the conducting interfaces at the nanoscale, the researchers want to find out more about the magnetoelectronic properties of the oxide interfaces and the quantum effects that take place there.

In addition, they will explore the technological steps necessary to realise applications. Prof.dr.ir. Hans Hilgenkamp, programme leader: "One possible example is energy-efficient electronics – in which the electrical conduction or a magnetic spin current is switched using a small alternating current – or nanotransistors and 'memristors' with an inbuilt memory. The interfaces can also serve as chemical sensors, as the conduction of this type of oxide structures depends on the chemical particles they absorb."

This programme is a collaboration between:
- University of Twente: Prof.dr.ir. H. Hilgenkamp, Prof.dr.ing. G. Rijnders, Prof.dr.ir. A. Brinkman, Prof.dr.ir. W.G. van der Wiel, Prof.dr.ing. D.H.A. Blank, Dr.ir. G. Koster and Dr.ir. M. Huijben;
- University of Amsterdam: Prof.dr. M.S. Golden, Prof.dr. H. Dürr and Dr. E. van Heumen;
- Radboud University Nijmegen: Dr. U. Zeitler, Dr. A. McCollam, Dr. H. Engelkamp, Prof.dr. P.C.M. Christianen and Prof.dr. N. Hussey;
- Leiden University: Prof.dr. J. Aarts;
- Delft University of Technology: Dr. A. Caviglia and Prof.dr. L. Vandersypen.