Variation of the conductivity at room temperature with silver content (in at.%) for glasses Agx(Ge0.25Se0.75)100-x and EFM micrographs of the glasses with x = 5, 15 and 25 at. % Ag
The effort in the domain of Chalcogenide materials and Solid State Ionics will continue to concentrate on investigation related to nanostructure. In particular, we plan to study the phenomenon of enhanced conductivity in various ionic conducting materials, both on an experimental and theoretical point of view. The goal is to produce electrolytes with very high ionic conduction. Several types of materials show specific conductivity enhancement: nanostructured compounds with the co-existence of insulating and conductive nanophases, glasses containing two glass formers, glasses showing a phase separation.
From an experimental point of view, we plan to produce new materials on a nanometric scale, by using mechanical alloying, on the one hand and spark plasma sintering on the other hand. We will also continue to explore the possibility to get insight in the local conductivity by using near field microscopy. In particular the electric field microscopy and conductive atomic force microscopy will be employed:
- to explore the electrical characteristics of a particular phase in multiphase materials (either phase separated materials or nanostructured composites) and
- to observe in situ sudden enhancement conductivity (switching phenomenon) in glassy composition used in the development of electrical memories.