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Ion-related phenomena in nanoscale oxide systems: from fundamentals to applications

Local ionic effects in oxide systems are emerging as a pivotal aspect in nanoionics, iontronics, catalysis and energy storage. This symposium focuses on the recent advances in understanding and controlling nanoscale ionic effects, and on their application in novel solid-state microdevices.


Functional oxide systems are at the basis of a whole new-generation of miniaturized solid-state devices for electronics, energy conversion and energy storage. In these systems, the role of ionic structure and defects (dopant element distribution, dislocations, grain boundaries, interfaces and surfaces) and the local interaction between ionic and electronic species play a pivotal role and can become predominant over the expected bulk behavior. These nanoionic effects may lead to the improvement of existing functionalities or even to the emergence of novel states, that can be harvested for application. The possibility of fabricating layered heterostructures and “interface-dominated” materials as well as of controlling nanoscale phenomena and dimensionality is key for a rational use of such materials in technology.

This symposium is aimed to bridge the fundamentals of oxide local structures with device fabrication and oxide implementation into real devices. It will provide a forum for discussion on oxide physics and chemistry, including surface activity, space-charge effects, local non-stoichiometry, strain, high electron and ion mobility states, and mass transport at the interfaces. Furthermore, it will focus on the practical utilization of such effects for several applications including solid oxide fuel cells, memories and neuromorphic devices, gas sensors, electrolyzers and microbatteries. Attention will be put on state-of-the-art techniques for thin-film fabrication such as PLD, sputtering, ALD, MBE and on strategies for their scalability such as large area deposition, epitaxy on Si and film transfer onto technological supports. Advances on microscopy, spectroscopy and electrical methods for local characterization will be discussed.

Hot topics to be covered by the symposium

  • Local electrical transport engineering: space-charge, local non-stoichiometry, strain, high-dimensional defects, etc.
  • Mass and charge transport at interfaces and surfaces
  • Ion-driven electronic effects
  • Interface-dominated architectures: grain boundaries, dislocations, multilayers
  • Interface investigation techniques
  • Advances in fabrication methodologies for thin-films
  • Light-driven ionic phenomena
  • Memristive devices and neuromorphics
  • Water and oxygen reactivity based on oxides/ionic configuration
  • Micro solid state devices: fuel cells, memristors, batteries, thin-film transistors, etc.

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Symposium organizers
Elisa GILARDI Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI)

Forschungsstrasse 111, 5232 Villigen – PSI, Switzerland
Federico BAIUTTICatalonia Institute for Energy Research (IREC)

Jardins de les Dones de Negre 1, 08930 Barcelona, Spain
Felix GUNKELRWTH Aachen University & Peter Grünberg Institute, Forschungszentrum Jülich

Peter Grünberg Institute (PGI-7), Forschungszentrum Jülich, 52425 Jülich, Germany
Matjaz SPREITZERJozef Stefan Institute Ljubljana

Jamova cesta 39, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia