It is well known that intense synchrotron beams can alter the state of the materials, but this effect is generally considered undesired radiation damage. However, interesting effects which can be useful to modify materials in a controlled way, have been already reported, including for instance redox reactions, metal-insulator and structural phase transitions . In this contribution we will show that irradiation with a synchrotron hard X-ray nanobeam can affect both structural and electronic properties of functional oxides by modifying their oxygen content.
The first discussed example is the realization of an electronic device by locally modifying the oxygen doping level in a Bi2Sr2CaCu2O8+δ (Bi-2212) superconducting oxide micro-crystal, while monitoring in situ the structural and electrical changes occurring in the sample [2, 3, 4].
The second application is the localized formation of oxygen vacancies in TiO2. Since the localized presence and migration of oxygen vacancies is the underlying principle in redox-based memristive devices, one of the most attractive emerging memory technologies, the possibility to “write” conductive channels in the oxide by locally inducing oxygen vacancies can be a new tool for the rational design and production of embedded memories based on memristive devices.
These examples demonstrate that a conceptually new X-ray nanopatterning method for oxide electrical devices, based on the local change of electrical properties, is actually possible with potential advantages in terms of heat dissipation, chemical contamination, miniaturization and high aspect ratio of the devices with respect to conventional fabrication methods.
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