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Crystal growth of superconductors, multiferroics and magnetic materials by the optical floating zone method

Prof. Rosalba Fittipaldi (CNR-SPIN and Dipartimento di Fisica E. R. Caianiello Università di Salerno, Fisciano (SA), Italy)

Monday, 25 January 2016, at 16:00 in Y36 K08


To make progress in understanding the physics of materials, high quality single crystals are crucial. Layered transition metal oxides have been extensively studied due to their ability to exhibit a wide variety of interesting functional properties, such as high-Tc superconductivity, oxide-ion conductivity, high-performance magnetoresistance and thermoelectric characteristics over the last decades. Such new material search contributes to extending the frontier of suitable candidates for the next-generation advanced applications. In this talk I will present an overview of the crystal growth, carried out in the laboratory of CNR SPIN in Salerno, of various oxides obtained by the floating zone technique using optical furnaces. Moreover, as a toolbox for the new material hunt, the concepts of homologous series, layer-engineering and materials controlling have proven to be valuable. In that respect, three-dimensional eutectic solidification was recognized as an exciting means of natural layer-engineering. It was found that some of the layered oxides are prone to develop heterostructures with sharp interfaces. Starting from the huge amount of physical properties of the single phase crystals of Sr- and Ca- ruthenium oxides we focused on growing eutectic multilayered systems of both ruthenium based compounds. In addition, as an example of materials handling, recent results on the synthesis and study of crystals of some multiferroics as the non-centrosymmetric compounds Ba2XGe2O7 (X=Cu, Mn, Ni and Fe), will also be presented.