12:19 GMT29 October 2020
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    Scientists at Vernadsky Crimean Federal University (CFU) have taken a major step in studying the electrical properties of lithium niobate crystals (LiNbO3), a promising material, widely used in the development of advanced optical and information processing devices.

    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).

    Scientists at the Crimean Federal University, together with their colleagues from the Tananaev Institute of Chemistry and Technology of Rare Elements and Mineral Raw Materials at the Russian Academy of Sciences, have long been advancing a detailed study of the electrical properties of LiNbO3. According to experts, information about them in serious scientific literature is now extremely contradictory.

    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.

    Tags:
    material, crystal, scientists, Russia
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