Dislocation-enhanced electrical conductivity in rutile TiO2 accessed by room-temperature nanoindentation

Hanna Bishara*, Hanna Tsybenko, Supriya Nandy, Qaisar Khushi Muhammad, Till Frömling, Xufei Fang, James P. Best, Gerhard Dehm

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dislocation-enhanced electrical conductivity is an emerging topic for ceramic oxides. In contrast to the majority of present studies which focus on large-scale crystal deformation or thin film fabrication to introduce dislocations, we use a nanoindentation “pop-in stop” method to locally generate 〈011〉 edge-type dislocations at room temperature, without crack formation, on the (100) surface of a rutile TiO2 single-crystal. Ion beam assisted deposition of microcontacts allowed for both deformed and non-deformed zones to be locally probed by impedance spectroscopy. Compared to the dislocation-free region, a local enhancement of the electrical conductivity by 50% in the dislocation-rich regions is found. The study paves the way for local “mechanical-doping” of ceramics and oxide materials, allowing for the use of dislocations to tune the local conductivity with high spatial resolution.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114543
JournalScripta Materialia
StatePublished - 15 Apr 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Dislocations
  • Electrical conductivity
  • Impedance spectroscopy
  • Mechanical doping
  • Titanium dioxide


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