DS03 - Stimuler le renouveau industriel

Perovskite nanocrystals: “salty” synthesis and electrochemically-driven spin transport – SaltySpin

Submission summary

Strongly correlated systems are complex materials where spin, charge, orbital and lattice orders are strongly intricate. Such solids exhibit unusual and often technologically relevant properties, which are the basis of many information and communication technologies. Manganite perovskites of formula AMnO3, where A cations are alkaline, alkaline earth, or rare earth cations, are typical cases of strongly correlated systems. In these compounds, several electronic-magnetic phases can coexist at the ~10 nm length scale, giving yield to so-called Electronic Phase Separation (EPS) at the nanoscale. Manganites are also among most active electrocatalysts for energy harnessing by fuel cells and metal-air batteries.
Physical properties of manganites depend strongly on the characteristics of EPS domains: their size, density, and evolution under external stimuli like temperature and magnetic field. Although EPS and coexistence of metallic and insulating phases should also deeply impact catalytic properties, this relationship has not been assessed. Overall, engineering EPS is of prime importance to design functional oxides. Many works are devoted to EPS in oxide thin films. However, only few cases pertain to EPS in manganite nanoparticles, which are a keystone for catalytic processes but a high challenge for materials synthesis. Manganite nanoparticles will offer new opportunities for designing functional materials:
(i) Nanoparticles are low-dimension models of films that can be probed by advanced electron microscopy and spectroscopy techniques;
(ii) When the particles size is commensurate to the EPS length-scale, it should strongly impact EPS;
(iii) The high surface-to-volume ratio of nanoparticles should emphasize the interplay between EPS and catalysis, thus enhancing catalytic properties by applying magnetic fields and vice versa, unveiling catalysis as a trigger of EPS and then charge/spin transport.
The aim of the SALTYSPIN project is to explore in nanoparticles the interplay between finite nano-size, catalysis, charge and spin transports, through EPS as the cornerstone. SALTYSPIN will deliver new models to unveil charge/spin transport into films, and a new toolbox to enhance catalytic properties of nanoparticles.
To reach this goal, we propose an innovative interdisciplinary approach, with three novelties:
(i) Synthesis of manganite nanocrystals with high crystalline quality by uniting for the first time molten salt chemistry and microwave heating to tune composition, core-shell heterostructures and size in the 5-50 nm range;
(ii) Using advanced physical methods to study magnetic, charge and spin transport properties at the 50 nm scale;
(iii) Coupling these physical methods to nanoscale electrochemistry, in order to investigate the interplay between electrocatalysis and magnetotransport, at the 50 nm scale, and enhance catalytic properties under a magnetic field.
This 42 months project gathers a multidisciplinary consortium unifying nanomaterials chemists (LCMCP), solid state physicists (IPCMS) and electrochemists (LISE). SALTYSPIN’s consortium has a pioneer position: it has recently validated nanoparticles as a model for thin films and slightly approached the impact of nanoparticles size on EPS. Yet, the concept of intricating EPS with catalysis is pristine.
SALTYSPIN is devoted to fundamental science. Relying on original nanoparticles synthesis as keystone, its primary, and only possible, ANR challenge is Défi 3, focusing on “nanomaterials and nanotechnologies for the products of the future” and “complex functional nano-objects”, in the 14th orientation “design of new materials”. SALTYSPIN will unveil new nanoparticles with original charge, spin and catalytic properties, ultimately delivering high activity electrocatalysts with new triggers for energy conversion, and exciting knowledge for information and communication technologies.

Project coordination

David Portehault (Chimie de la Matière Condensée de Paris)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


LCMCP Chimie de la Matière Condensée de Paris
IPCMS Institut de physique et chimie des matériaux de Strasbourg
LRS Laboratoire de Réactivité de Surface

Help of the ANR 430,218 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: January 2018 - 42 Months

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