Physics of Oxides for Future Devices

James F. Scott*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Ferroelectric oxides underwent a renaissance in the 1980s and 1990s, driven by the success in commercializing thin-film ferroelectric random-access memory devices (FRAMs) for applications such as the SONY PlayStation 2 memory board. Materials scientists gravitated into this new field from magnetic oxides and from high-T-c superconductivity. But as the FRAM prospects wane and neither dynamic random-access memory devices nor FLASH memory has been replaced, we now require new directions for materials research on oxides. In this article, I outline briefly four new directions for ferroelectric oxide research: something old-ferroelectrically induced ferromagnetism and multiferroic switching; something new-THz emission from oxide ferroelectrics; something borrowed-Heisenberg-like switching of domains in nanoferroelectrics; and something blue-ZnO light-emitting devices. Magnetoelectricity-the linear coupling of polarization and magnetization-was theoretically predicted by Igor Dzyaloshinskii in 1957 and measured experimentally by Astrov two years later. It did not produce commercial devices. Although a flurry of new work occurred in the 1970s, emphasizing boracites-mostly by Hans Schmid in Geneva, no materials were found that exhibited large effects at room temperature. In the past decade, the search has been renewed, emphasizing rare earth systems such as Tb manganites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-230
Number of pages4
JournalMRS Bulletin
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010


  • BAMNF4
  • ZNO


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