By Ben Crnic
Graduate students Ayana Ghosh and Dennis Trujillo co-authored a research paper with MSE faculty members S. Pamir Alpay and Serge M. Nakhmanson that has become one of the top 100 most downloaded papers on physics published in 2019, according to a list compiled by Scientific Reports. The paper is entitled “Electronic and Magnetic Properties of Lanthanum and Strontium Doped Bismuth Ferrite: A First-Principles Study.”
The study focuses on using first-principles theory to investigate the effect of A-site dopant (lanthanum and strontium) on the changes in the electronic and magnetic properties of bismuth ferrite (BFO), which is a well-studied multiferroic material. The correlation between these properties of transition-metal oxide materials such as BFO has many technological applications, including tunable multifunctional spintronics, magnetoelectric random access memory devices, and various kinds of electronic sensors and optoelectronic devices. Since BFO thin films exhibit low electrical resistivity which limits its application in designing novel multifunctional non-volatile random access memory devices, the research featured in the paper contributes towards understanding how dopants like lanthanum and strontium can help overcome these shortcomings.
The research was performed in collaboration with Honchul Choi and Jian-Xin Zhu, both scientists from the Theoretical Division of Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). This collaboration grew from a mutual interest in working on a perovskite material such as BFO, as well as Ghosh’s visits to LANL in 2017 when she was hired as a graduate research intern. Both Ghosh and Trujillo are currently also working on other projects and publications together.
On being a part of one of the top 100 most downloaded papers on physics, Ghosh said, “It is good to know that this paper is well-received by the research community and gaining attention. It will be great to see a few extensions of this research in the future as well.”
Trujillo said, “It was amazing to be recognized for our work and to see that people were interested in our research. It validates the hopes we have from the beginning of any project that our work will be well received and have some impact on the community.”
“Both Professor Nakhmanson and I have enjoyed working on this project with Ayana and Dennis who have done a great job with the calculations, the analysis, and the presentations of the results,” Alpay said.