Of the principle classes of materials, complex oxides constitute one of the largest and most active areas of materials research because their structure allows incorporation of a vast majority of the elements in the periodic table and gives rise to a wide range of properties including ferroelectricity, magnetism, and superconductivity. The increasing demand for improved materials with precise and complex multifunctionality motivates us to move beyond the traditionally explored area of near-equilibrium materials and calls for expanding the range of accessible phase space through the incorporation of metastability into materials design.

Recent development of vacuum-based thin-film deposition techniques and high pressure/high temperature syntheses has in some ways made the challenge greater, because they are now possible to side step the thermodynamic limitations of traditional solid-state syntheses and produce metastable materials with new functionalities. Exploiting new strategies for materials design and/or advancing the application of materials design into metastable regimes, we have remarkable research results as follows:

  1. Discovery of new ferroelectric and piezoelectric oxides –tilt engineering of layered perovskite oxides
  2. High-pressure synthesis of new transition metal oxides
  3. Epitaxial stabilization of metastable magnetic oxides thin films