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Nanomaterials (Basel) ; 11(6)2021 May 26.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34073645


Among all transition metal oxides, titanium dioxide (TiO2) is one of the most intensively investigated materials due to its large range of applications, both in the amorphous and crystalline forms. We have produced amorphous TiO2 thin films by means of room temperature ion-plasma assisted e-beam deposition, and we have heat-treated the samples to study the onset of crystallization. Herein, we have detailed the earliest stage and the evolution of crystallization, as a function of both the annealing temperature, in the range 250-1000 °C, and the TiO2 thickness, varying between 5 and 200 nm. We have explored the structural and morphological properties of the as grown and heat-treated samples with Atomic Force Microscopy, Scanning Electron Microscopy, X-ray Diffractometry, and Raman spectroscopy. We have observed an increasing crystallization onset temperature as the film thickness is reduced, as well as remarkable differences in the crystallization evolution, depending on the film thickness. Moreover, we have shown a strong cross-talking among the complementary techniques used displaying that also surface imaging can provide distinctive information on material crystallization. Finally, we have also explored the phonon lifetime as a function of the TiO2 thickness and annealing temperature, both ultimately affecting the degree of crystallinity.

Nat Nanotechnol ; 15(8): 656-660, 2020 Aug.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32541945


A classical battery converts chemical energy into a persistent voltage bias that can power electronic circuits. Similarly, a phase battery is a quantum device that provides a persistent phase bias to the wave function of a quantum circuit. It represents a key element for quantum technologies based on phase coherence. Here we demonstrate a phase battery in a hybrid superconducting circuit. It consists of an n-doped InAs nanowire with unpaired-spin surface states, that is proximitized by Al superconducting leads. We find that the ferromagnetic polarization of the unpaired-spin states is efficiently converted into a persistent phase bias φ0 across the wire, leading to the anomalous Josephson effect1,2. We apply an external in-plane magnetic field and, thereby, achieve continuous tuning of φ0. Hence, we can charge and discharge the quantum phase battery. The observed symmetries of the anomalous Josephson effect in the vectorial magnetic field are in agreement with our theoretical model. Our results demonstrate how the combined action of spin-orbit coupling and exchange interaction induces a strong coupling between charge, spin and superconducting phase, able to break the phase rigidity of the system.