The brick-like structure of the crystal improves its performance as a capacitor

Brick-like crystals improve performance of capacitors

New dielectric material improving mobile phone battery capacity has been developed by an international research team.

According to a report published in the scientific journal Nature, the material based on fibre-thin strontium titanate layers, could significantly enhance the performance of capacitors, opening up new options for wireless communication at higher frequencies.

“This material allows capacitors to reach at least five times the power compared to the materials that are currently being used,” said Darrell Schlom, from the Cornell University, USA, who has coordinated the research.

The new capacitors’ ability to store charge can be altered by applying electric current, which helps to reduce energy loss.

The improved features are enabled by the unique characteristics of strontium titanate and the process used to deposit the layers onto manmade rare earth scandate crystals.

In contrast to the tuneable dielectrics that are commercially available today, the new strontium titanate layers show a much lower density of defects, reducing the energy and performance loss.

Unlike conventional crystals, the atomic layers are not evenly developed but look like a brick wall when put under a microscope.

If the lattice structure of a strontium titanate crystal is standard, it tends to display many defects. However, with the brick-wall structure of the material, the defects are balanced out with a mortar-like layer in between the bricks.

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