Dislocation-mediated electronic conductivity in rutile

Muhammad, Q.K. and Bishara, H. and Porz, L. and Dietz, C. and Ghidelli, M. and Dehm, G. and Frömling, T.

Volume: 17 Pages:
DOI: 10.1016/j.mtnano.2021.100171
Published: 2022

It has been recently shown that doping-like properties can be introduced into functional ceramics by inducing dislocations. Especially for TiO2, donor and acceptor-like behavior were observed depending on the type of introduced mesoscopic dislocation network. However, these early reports could not fully elucidate the mechanism behind it. In this work, we rationalize the electrical properties of dislocations by targeted microelectrode impedance measurements, local conductivity atomic force microscopy, and Kelvin probe force microscopy on deformed single crystals, comparing dislocation-rich and deficient regions. With the help of finite element method calculations, a semi-quantitative model for the effect of dislocations on the macroscopic electrical properties is developed. The model describes the dislocation bundles as highly conductive regions in which respective space charges overlap and induce temperature-independent, highly stable electronic conductivity. We illustrate the mechanism behind unique electrical properties tailored by introducing dislocations and believe that these results are the cornerstone in developing dislocation-tuned functionality in ceramics. © 2021 Elsevier Ltd

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