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Interfaces are the dominant feature of dielectrics at the nanometric level

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1 Author(s)
Lewis, T.J. ; Sch. of Inf., Univ. of Wales, Bangor, UK

It is argued that the behavior of dielectric particles as they shrink in size through micrometric to nanometric scales will be increasingly dominated by the properties of their interfaces with the environment. The various interatomic and intermolecular forces that determine the structure of these interfaces are reviewed with special emphasis on their electrical nature. A number of situations in which passive and dynamic dielectric properties are traceable to nanometric interfacial properties are considered. It is also demonstrated that such interfaces are nanometric electromechanical (NEM) systems which acting collectively also explain piezoelectricity in macroscopic systems. Interfaces are naturally nanometric entities and must have a major role in the future development of nanotechnology. Their ubiquitous employment in living systems is noted and comparison suggests synergistic opportunities.

Published in:

Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:11 ,  Issue: 5 )