Scientists from the University of Cambridge have invented a new type of electronic structure that can be used to build small-sized magnetic nanoparticles, a process that would allow for a wider range of applications.
The researchers, led by Professor Andrew Mazzola, also developed an electrode system that uses the metal-based oxide that makes up the oxide layer to build conductive electrodes.
“Electrons can be created in the absence of an electron and in the presence of an electric field.
We’ve been able to make the electron affinity graph, which can then be used as a way to construct electronic devices,” Professor Mazzale told Newsweek.
“We were able to use the graph to construct a structure for building an electroactive layer of copper oxide, which is one of the most conductive materials known.”
The scientists say the results could be applied to the development of novel electronic structures and to the fabrication of flexible, rechargeable batteries, which are essential for electric vehicles and other future devices.
The research was funded by the British government and the Department of Energy.
The paper, published in Nature Nanotechnology, describes a method for making copper oxide using a technique known as electrodeposition.
Professor Mzzola said: “It is a very simple and effective technique.
The copper oxide is formed from a solution of copper and zinc and then covered with an electrolyte layer.
The electrode is made from copper oxide nanoparticles with a copper oxide electrode layer sandwiched between the copper oxide layer and the electrolyte.
The nanoparticles are then placed into a solution containing zinc oxide and a lithium ion and then exposed to the air for a period of time.”
The researchers say the process produces a graph that can hold many thousands of nanoparticles that are then assembled into an electronic device.
This process can be repeated many times to produce the desired device.
“The electrons are formed by an electron-transfer reaction, and the electron-bearing layer can be made to interact with the zinc oxide surface by attaching electrodes to the zinc layer,” Professor Piers Forster, from the Department, told Newsweek in a statement.
“This process could also be used for other electronic applications such as high-performance electronic sensors.”