Periodic arrays of nanorings of morphotropic phase boundary lead zirconium titanate ( PZT) have been successfully fabricated using a novel self-assembly technique: close-packed monolayers of latex nanospheres were deposited onto Pt-coated silicon substrates, and then plasma cleaned to form ordered arrays of isolated nanospheres, not in contact with each other. Subsequent pulsed laser deposition of PZT, high angle argon ion etching and thermal annealing created the arrays of isolated nanorings, with diameters of similar to 100 nm and wall thicknesses of similar to 10 nm. Energy dispersive x-ray analysis confirms that the rings are compositionally morphotropic phase boundary PZT, and high resolution transmission electron microscopy imaging of lattice fringes demonstrates some periodicities consistent with perovskite rather than pyrochlore material. The dimensions of these nanorings, and the expected 'soft' behaviour of the ferroelectric material from which they are made, means that they offer the most likely opportunity to date for observing whether or not vortex arrangements of electrical dipoles, analogous to those seen in ferromagnetic nanostructures, actually exist.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Mechanics of Materials