About this Research Topic
Multifunctional materials are unique in terms of utility as they demonstrate more than one functionality, significantly, most often they show coupling amongst the functionalities to tune each other, which is a great advantage to design functional devices and sensors. Classic examples are transparent conductors, multiferroics, and emerging Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs), which have demonstrated applications in display technologies, logic devices, and energy. Since the best characteristics of individual materials can be realized into a single multifunctional material with a broader spectrum of desired functionalities, this kind of materials has great potential to overcome and address the industry grand challenges of so-called Moore’s law device scaling limits, reduce operation cost, and reduce energy consumption, while increasing the output and environment safety.
All though multifunctional materials are boon for the industry, integrating different functions in a single material system has often been a fundamental challenge, especially if those functions happen to be mutually exclusive, for example, transparency and conductivity, or magnetic and ferroelectric. Due to the inherent inter-coupling amongst properties, it is often observed that one functionality stands out at the expense of others. This demands unique and innovative materials design in terms of choice of materials or new growth strategies to develop high performance in multi functionalities. This challenge can be overcome by investigation and thorough understanding of function-property (spin, charge, orbital, and structure) relationships at the mesoscopic level and developing competence methodology for multifunctionality which is key to develop devices addressing modern-day research goals, such as low power electronic devices, efficient spin-charge conversion, light-charge conversion, and environmental sensors which can address current global challenges and improve quality of life. Recent advances in materials design with respect to novel low dimensional/2D materials, surfaces, and interfaces further offer a novel playground to design efficient multifunctional materials altogether.
This Research Topic aims to cover recent advancements in multifunctional materials in terms of new material designs and innovative fabrication methods beyond convention, a new understanding of the physical mechanisms involved, and demonstration of device functionalities for applications. We welcome the contributing authors to submit manuscripts covering, but not limited to, the following themes:
• Theoretical calculations and predictions for the development of new multifunctional materials, including but not limited to transparent conductor/semiconductors, spintronic multiferroics, thermoelectric, sensor based on low dimensional/2D materials and semiconductors.
• Discovery of new functionalities in thin films, surfaces, and their interfaces of materials.
• Promote new understanding of underlying fundamental phenomena such as light-matter interactions, spin-charge-orbital interactions, magneto-electric coupling, and thermo-electricity.
• Development of novel device configurations involving multifunctional materials.
• Demonstrate device performance of multi-functional materials for potential applications, including but not limited to spintronics, optoelectronics, thermoelectric, and environmental sensor applications.
Keywords: multifunctional materials, transparent conductors, transparent semiconductors, magnetoelectronics, environmental sensors, low dimensional sensor devices
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.