The search for multifunctional materials as multiferroics to be applied in microelectronic or for new, chemically stable and nontoxic, thermoelectric materials to recover waste heat is showing a common interest in the oxides whose structures contain a triangular network of transition-metal cations. To illustrate this point, two ternary systems, Ba-Co-O and Ca-Co-O, have been chosen. It is shown that new phases with a complex triangular structure can be discovered, for instance, by introduction of Ga3+ into the Ba-Co-O system to stabilize Ba6Ga2CO11O26 and Ba2GaCo8O14, which both belong to a large family of compounds with formula [Ba(Co,Ga)O3-δ] n[BaCo8O11]. In the latter, both sublattices contain triangular networks derived from the hexagonal perovskite and the spinel structure. Among the hexagonal perovskite, the Ca3Co 2O6 crystals give dear evidence where the coupling of charges and spins is at the origin of a magnetocapacitance effect. In particular, the ferrimagnetic to ferromagnetic transition, with a one-third plateau on the M(H) curve characteristic of triangular magnetism, is accompanied by a peak in the dielectric constant. A second class of cobaltites is the focus of much interest. Their 2D structure, containing CoO2 planes isostructural to a Cdl2 slice that are stacked in an incommensurate way with rock salt type layers, is referred to misfit cobaltite. The 2D triangular network of edge-shared CoO6 octahedra is believed to be responsible for large values of the Seebeck coefficient and low electrical resistivity. A clear relationship between the structures - incommensurability ratios - and the electronic properties is evidenced, showing that the charge carrier concentration can be tuned via the control of the ionic radius of the cations in the separating layers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Inorganic Chemistry
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry