Controlling the electronic properties at the interface between materials could help in the quest for improvements in computer memory.

KAUST researchers show that varying the atomic composition of boron-nitride-based alloys enables tuning of an important electronic property known as polarization.

When an electric field is applied to a single atom, it shifts the center of mass of the cloud of negatively charged electrons away from the positively charged nucleus it surrounds.

In a crystalline solid, these so-called electric dipoles of all atoms combine to create electric polarization.

Some materials exhibit a spontaneous polarization, even without an external electric field.

Such materials have potential uses in computer memory, however, this application requires a material system in which the polarization is controllable.

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