New book edited by DTU Energy professors Nini Pryds and Vincenzo Esposito

New book from DTU Energy professors on thin film oxides

Friday 02 Feb 18


Nini Pryds
Head of Section, Professor
DTU Energy
+45 46 77 57 52


Vincenzo Esposito
DTU Energy
+45 46 77 56 37

Professors Nini Pryds and Vincenzo Esposito, DTU Energy, have published the book "Metal Oxide-Based Thin Film Structures", providing a status on the research within thin films, oxides and interfaces, and updates newcomers and skilled experts in the field with all the latest knowledge.

Humanity has never expanded our scientific horizons as quickly as now. Every year 2.5 million scientific papers are published, and even experienced scientists may occasionally lose their bearings on this vast ocean of information. Where are we, how did we get here and where are we going?

This makes scientific overviews like "Metal Oxide-Based Thin Film Structures", which Professor Nini Pryds and Vincenzo Esposito, DTU Energy, published in the autumn very important.

"We have gathered all the latest knowledge of thin films, oxides and interfaces because it is an area of enormous potential for both energy and information technology that evolves very quickly from day to day. Most researchers would dearly like to sit down and write a book about their work, but they do not have the time, meaning that much knowledge is not shared," says Nini Pryds and Vincenzo Esposito.

DTU Energy is one of the world's leading research institutions on oxide materials for thin films, and as pioneers and top researchers in the field, Nini Pryds and Vincenzo Esposito were able to get in contact with people, whom, as a rule, did not have time to attend but acknowledged the need to gather an overview.

"We want to help people to understand the field, and others to understand the details. The book is written so that it will still be of value in two to five years"
Professors Nini Pryd and Vincenzo Esposito, DTU Energy

The result is a summary of international top researchers' work on metal oxides, interfaces and thin films, what their research can be used for and where the technologies based on oxide-based thin films move.

From materials to products

Oxide-based thin films are used in heterogeneous catalysis, chemical sensors, electrical and magnetic devices and as semiconductors in electronics for especially energy and information technologies, including memory cards. The four main chapters of the book cover from research to fabrication. How thin films are made and for what use; theories of epitaxial growth mechanisms and structural features and defects in the materials; how the materials are characterized and modeled; and the last chapter deals with practical applications.

Collected and edited by the DTU professors allowing laymen to get an insight into the technologies, new researchers to get an insight into the methods, and experts in the field to gain an overview of existing knowledge in the field.

"We want to help people to understand the field, and others to understand the details. The book is written so that it will still be of value in two to five years, because even if the priorities may change, for example if there is more focus on solar cells and less on batteries, the basic methods and processes will be the same,” says Nini Pryds.

"In this way, new researchers in the field can gain insight into the very basic things such as which methods can be used to make thin film oxide, what the basic challenges are and which direction we expect the field to move in the future. Practical stuff, that experts in the field may take for granted that everyone knows! But how should the newcomers know it if people do not have time to tell them?"

Two of the experts contributing to the book are senior researchers at DTU Energy. Karin Vels Hansen writes on a method to measure the electrochemical properties of surfaces at high temperatures and various atmospheres. This can be done using a special microscope developed at DTU Energy, the CAHT-SPM (Controlled atmosphere high-temperature scanning probe microscope). In his chapter, Yunzhong Chen gives a survey of the mechanisms leading to an electrically conducting phase at the interface of two insulating complex oxides.

The book "Metal Oxide-Based Thin Film Structures - Formation, Characterization and Application of Interface-Based Phenomena" was published last autumn by Elsevier.

Roadmap underway

Professor Nini Pryds has now begun to make a scientific roadmap of their field. Because while the new book is mostly a status statement, a gathering of contemporary available knowledge, enabling people to understand and do research the technologies, he now wants to look forward. Just like an ordinary roadmap his roadmap will show where we are, where we came from and show all the different roads we can use to get from A to B.

"Oxides are used for a lot of different applications, it is a broad research area and DTU Energy is among the leaders in the world in this field. I now use this knowledge to go more into detail on one of the areas: thin film and its interfaces. I want to show in which direction the research in thin film technologies are moving, and describe how the specially designed thin films have many incredible uses," says Nini Pryds.

The roadmap on oxide materials and their interfaces is expected to be completed in the first half of 2018.