High-entropy oxides: Harnessing crystalline disorder for emergent functionality


High-entropy materials defy historical materials design paradigms by leveraging chemical disorder to kinetically stabilize novel crystalline solid solutions comprised of many end-members. Formulational diversity results in local crystal structures that are seldom found in conventional materials and can strongly influence macroscopic physical properties. Thermodynamically prescribed chemical flexibility provides a means to tune such properties. Additionally, kinetic metastability results in many possible atomic arrangements, including both solid-solution configurations and heterogeneous phase assemblies, depending on synthesis conditions. Local disorder induced by metastability, and extensive cation solubilities allowed by thermodynamics combine to give many high-entropy oxide systems utility as electrochemical, magnetic, thermal, dielectric, and optical materials. Though high-entropy materials research is maturing rapidly, much remains to be understood and many compositions still await discovery, exploration, and implementation.