Wiggling Atoms Connected to Polarization of Crystals

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Forschungsverbund Berlin, Germany, scientists have found that time-resolved x-ray experiment now elucidates that tiny atomic vibrations shift negative charges over a 1000 times larger distance between atoms and switch the macroscopic polarization on a time scale of a millionth of a millionth of a second. Such ferroelectric materials have received strong interest for applications in electronic sensors, memories, and switching devices. In this context, fast and controlled changes of their electric properties are essential for implementing specific functions efficiently. This calls for understanding the connection between atomic structure and macroscopic electric properties, including the physical mechanisms governing the fastest possible dynamics of macroscopic electric polarization.

Source:Materials provided by Forschungsverbund BerlinNote: Content may be edited for style and length.