The group started its activity in April 2009 in the framework of the W2-Minerva-Program of the Max Planck Society and is led by Dr. Ionela Vrejoiu.
Its research focuses on fabricating and understanding the physical properties and the property-microstructure relations of epitaxial ultrathin films, superlattices and nanometre-size dots of ferroelectric, ferromagnetic and multiferroic perovskite oxides. The research is motivated by demands for device miniaturization, which pose not only technological and manufacturing challenges, but also require the understanding of the phenomena occurring at nanoscale in condensed matter and at the involved interfaces. The epitaxial interfaces between perovskite oxides are an exciting playground, a notorious example being the LaAlO3/TiO2-SrTiO3(100) interface that exhibits a 2D electron gas with high carrier mobility and electron density. The ferromagnetic/(anti)ferromagnetic and ferromagnetic / ferroelectric perovskite interfaces hold promise for intriguing effects, such as a strong antiferromagnetic coupling we observe in our La0.7Sr0.3MnO3 / SrRuO3 superlattices (M. Ziese, I. Vrejoiu, E. Pippel , D. Hesse et al., Physical Review Letters 104, 167203 (2010) ).
By employing AAO membranes as masks attached on the substrates, ordered arrays of large density epitaxial nanodots of multiferroic materials will be grown by pulsed-laser deposition (PLD), as already demonstrated for ferroelectric nanodots by our coworkers at MPI-Halle (W. Lee et al., Nature Nanotechnology 3 (2008) 402).