New Publication: ‘The Fundamental Mechanism Behind Colossal Permitivity in Oxides’

Congratulations to fourth year PGRs Francis Davies and Ned Taylor, third year PGR Shane Davies and second year PGR Conor Price, who have co-authored a paper with Dr. Steven Hepplestone. The paper, titled ‘The Fundamental Mechanism Behind Colossal Permittivity in Oxides‘, determines the mechanism responsible for colossal permittivity exhibited by various oxides to be that of a thin metallic region forming between two insulating oxides. The authors also present a method for engineering metamaterials with this unusual property.

This is an excellent example of cross-cohort collaboration within the CDT.

An abstract of the paper is below:


Colossal permittivity materials exhibit extreme polarization in an applied electric field, providing applications in electronics and energy transmission. Understanding the atomic‐scale mechanism behind colossal permittivity remains a challenging task and is key to optimizing materials with this property. The fundamental mechanism of colossal permittivity is reported and, using CaCu3Ti4O12 as an example, it is attributed to the formation of an unusual metallic interface between the grain and grain boundary materials (CaCu3Ti4O12 and CuxO (x = 1, 2), respectively), not created by oxygen vacancies as is normally the case in oxide materials. This metallic layer around the grain forms confined shells of charge that pool on one side when under an applied field, which results in colossal permittivity. A route towards enhancing colossal permittivity is explained by means of manipulating the interface properties, as well as altering sample geometries. A methodology to artificially engineer colossal permittivity metamaterials is also shown.

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