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Negative Thermal Expansion and Ferroelectric Oxides in Electronic Device Composites

  • Author(s): Trujillo, Joy Elizabeth
  • Advisor(s): Dunn, Bruce S
  • et al.

Electronic devices increasingly pervade our daily lives, driving the need to develop components which have material properties that can be designed to target a specific need. The principle motive of this thesis is to investigate the effects of particle size and composition on three oxides which possess electronic and thermal properties essential to designing improved ceramic composites for more efficient, high energy storage devices. A metal matrix composite project used the negative thermal expansion oxide, ZrW2O8, to offset the high thermal expansion of the metal matrix without sacrificing high thermal conductivity. Composite preparation employed a powder mixing technique to achieve easy composition control and homogenous phase distribution in order to build composites which target a specific coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE). A tailorable CTE material is desirable for overcoming thermomechanical failure in heat sinks or device casings.

This thesis also considers the particle size effect on dielectric properties in a common ferroelectric perovskite, Ba1-xSrxTiO3. By varying the Ba:Sr ratio, the Curie temperature can be adjusted and by reducing the particle size, the dielectric constant can be increased and hysteresis decreased. These conditions could yield anonymously large dielectric constants near room temperature. However, the ferroelectric behavior has been observed to cease below a minimum size of a few tens of nanometers in bulk or thin film materials. Using a new particle slurry approach, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy allows dielectric properties to be determined for nanoparticles, as opposed to conventional methods which measure only bulk or thin film dielectric properties. In this manner, Ba1-xSrxTiO3 was investigated in a new size regime, extending the theory on the ferroelectric behavior to < 10 nm diameter. This knowledge will improve the potential to incorporate high dielectric constant, low loss ferroelectric nanoparticles in many complex composites.

Finally, powder composite processing and impedance spectroscopy techniques were combined to investigate the SrTiO3/(Y2O3)x(ZrO2)1-x (STO/YSZ) oxide system. Thin film heterostructures of STO/YSZ are used in electrochemical energy devices due to their enhanced interfacial ionic conductivity. This work investigated whether this ionic conductivity enhancement could be observed in bulk sintered architectures, which may lead to new device designs for energy storage needs.

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