The study results were published in Physics of the Solid State magazine.
Lithium niobate is an artificially synthesized compound in the form of crystals, which since 1965 and to this day has been of great interest to scientists from all industrialized countries. This is due to the fact that crystals are widely used in devices for processing information and controlling optical flows. Their physical properties can be seriously improved when special impurities are introduced into the crystal (or if their synthesis conditions are changed).
It is this “gaping void” that Russian experts have decided to fill, having discovered that crystals grown at room temperature from a melt with a potassium oxide flux have a significantly greater electrical resistance than ordinary crystals.
"We used the usual electrometric method: measuring the current through a crystal when applying a high voltage to it. However, the resistance of LiNbO3 in a direct current at room temperature is extremely high, which required us to develop original special equipment", Alexander Yatsenko, the professor at the Department of Condensed Matter Physics, Physical Methods and Information Technologies in Medicine at the CFU School of Physics and Engineering stated.
According to the researcher, the study results open up possibilities for scientists to work with such objects more meaningfully and effectively. The CFU scientists are currently studying the electrical properties of crystals with impurities of iron, zinc, and magnesium.