A Microdot Multilayer Oxide Device: Let Us Tune the Strain-Ionic Transport Interaction

TitleA Microdot Multilayer Oxide Device: Let Us Tune the Strain-Ionic Transport Interaction
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsSchweiger, S, Kubicek, M, Messerschmitt, F, Murer, C, Rupp, JLM
JournalAcs Nano
Pagination5032 - 5048
Date Published2014/05//

In this paper, we present a strategy to use interfacial strain in multilayer heterostructures to tune their resistive response and ionic transport as active component in an oxide-based multilayer microdot device on chip. For this, fabrication of strained multilayer microdot devices with sideways attached electrodes is reported with the material system Gd0.1Ce0.9O2-delta/Er2O3. The fast ionic conducting Gd0.1Ce0.9O2-delta single layers are altered in lattice strain by the electrically insulating erbia phases of a microdot. The strain activated volume of the Gd0.1Ce0.9O2-delta is investigated by changing the number of individual layers from 1 to 60 while keeping the microdot at a constant thickness; i.e., the proportion of strained volume was systematically varied. Electrical measurements showed that the activation energy of the devices could be altered by Delta 0.31 eV by changing the compressive strain of a microdot ceria-based phase by more than 1.16%. The electrical conductivity data is analyzed and interpreted with a strain volume model and defect thermodynamics. Additionally, an equivalent circuit model is presented for sideways contacted multilayer microdots. We give a proof-of-concept for microdot contacting to capture real strain-ionic transport effects and reveal that for classic top-electrode contacting the effect is nil, highlighting the need for sideways electric contacting on a nanoscopic scale. The near order ionic transport interaction is supported by Raman spectroscopy measurements. These were conducted and analyzed together with fully relaxed single thin film samples. Strain states are described relative to the strain activated volumes of Gd0.1Ce0.9O2-delta in the microdot multilayer. These findings reveal that strain engineering in microfabricated devices allows altering the Ionic conduction over a wide range beyond classic doping strategies for single films. The reported fabrication route and concept of strained multilayer microdots is a promising path for applying strained multilayer oxides as active new building blocks relevant for a broad range of microelectrochemical devices, e.g., resistive switching memory prototypes, resistive or electrochemical sensors, or as active catalytic solid state surface components for microfuel cells or all-solid-state batteries.