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Author ORCID ID is 0000000153546152
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  1. Exploration of phase transitions and construction of associated phase diagrams are of fundamental importance for condensed matter physics and materials science alike, and remain the focus of extensive research for both theoretical and experimental studies. For the latter, comprehensive studies involving scattering, thermodynamics, and modeling are typically required. We present a new approach to data mining multiple realizations of collective dynamics, measured through piezoelectric relaxation studies, to identify the onset of a structural phase transition in nanometer-scale volumes, that is, the probed volume of an atomic force microscope tip. Machine learning is used to analyze the multidimensional data sets describingmore » relaxation to voltage and thermal stimuli, producing the temperature-bias phase diagram for a relaxor crystal without the need to measure (or know) the order parameter. The suitability of the approach to determine the phase diagram is shown with simulations based on a two-dimensional Ising model. Finally, these results indicate that machine learning approaches can be used to determine phase transitions in ferroelectrics, providing a general, statistically significant, and robust approach toward determining the presence of critical regimes and phase boundaries.« less
  2. The ability to control thin-film growth has led to advances in our understanding of fundamental physics as well as to the emergence of novel technologies. However, common thin-film growth techniques introduce a number of limitations related to the concentration of defects on film interfaces and surfaces that limit the scope of systems that can be produced and studied experimentally. Here, we developed an ion-beam based subtractive fabrication process that enables creation and modification of thin films with pre-defined thicknesses. To accomplish this we transformed a multimodal imaging platform that combines time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry with atomic force microscopy tomore » a unique fabrication tool that allows for precise sputtering of the nanometer-thin layers of material. To demonstrate fabrication of thin-films with in situ feedback and control on film thickness and functionality we systematically studied thickness dependence of ferroelectric switching of lead-zirconate-titanate, within a single epitaxial film. Lastly, our results demonstrate that through a subtractive film fabrication process we can control the piezoelectric response as a function of film thickness as well as improve on the overall piezoelectric response versus an untreated film.« less
  3. Organometallic halide perovskites (OMHPs) have attracted broad attention as prospective materials for optoelectronic applications. Among the many anomalous properties of these materials, of special interest are the ferroelectric properties including both classical and relaxor-like components, as a potential origin of slow dynamics, field enhancement, and anomalous mobilities. Here, ferroelectric properties of the three representative OMHPs are explored, including FAPb xSn 1–xI 3 (x = 0, x = 0.85) and FA 0.85MA 0.15PbI 3 using band excitation piezoresponse force microscopy and contact mode Kelvin probe force microscopy, providing insight into long- and short-range dipole and charge dynamics in these materials andmore » probing ferroelectric density of states. Furthermore, second-harmonic generation in thin films of OMHPs is observed, providing a direct information on the noncentrosymmetric polarization in such materials. Overall, the data provide strong evidence for the presence of ferroelectric domains in these systems; however, the domain dynamics is suppressed by fast ion dynamics. These materials hence present the limit of ferroelectric materials with spontaneous polarization dynamically screened by ionic and electronic carriers.« less
  4. Here, a new polar and magnetic oxide, YCrWO 6, was successfully synthesized and characterized. YCrWO 6 crystallizes in polar orthorhombic space group Pna21 (no. 33) of edge-sharing dimers of CrO 6 and WO 6 octahedra, which are connected by corner-sharing to form a three-dimensional framework structure with Y 3+ cations located in the channels. The structure of YCrWO 6 is related to that of CaTa2O 6; however, the ordering of Cr 3+ and W 6+ in the octahedral sites breaks the inversion symmetry of the parent CaTa 2O 6 structure. X-ray absorption near edge spectroscopy of YCrWO 6 confirmed themore » oxidation state of Cr 3+ and W 6+. Temperature-dependent optical second harmonic generation measurements on YCrWO 6 confirmed the noncentrosymmetric character and evidenced a noncentrosymmetric-to-centrosymmetric phase transition above 800 °C. Piezoresponse force microscopy measurements on YCrWO 6 at room temperature show strong piezoelectric domains. Magnetic measurements of YCrWO 6 indicate antiferromagnetic order at T N of ~22 K with Weiss temperature of -34.66 K.« less
  5. Double corundum-related polar magnets are promising materials for multiferroic and magnetoelectric applications in spintronics. However, their design and synthesis is a challenge, and magnetoelectric coupling has only been observed in Ni 3TeO 6 among the known double corundum compounds to date. Here in this paper we address the high-pressure synthesis of a new polar and antiferromagnetic corundum derivative Mn 2MnWO 6, which adopts the Ni 3TeO 6-type structure with low temperature first-order field-induced metamagnetic phase transitions (T N = 58 K) and high spontaneous polarization (~ 63.3 μC·cm -2). The magnetostriction-polarization coupling in Mn 2MnWO 6 is evidenced by secondmore » harmonic generation effect, and corroborated by magnetic-field-dependent pyroresponse behavior, which together with the magnetic-field-dependent polarization and dielectric measurements, qualitatively indicate magnetoelectric coupling. Finally, piezoresponse force microscopy imaging and spectroscopy studies on Mn 2MnWO 6 show switchable polarization, which motivates further exploration on magnetoelectric effect in single crystal/thin film specimens.« less
  6. Recent advances in scanning transmission electron and scanning probe microscopies have opened unprecedented opportunities in probing the materials structural parameters and various functional properties in real space with an angstrom-level precision. This progress has been accompanied by exponential increase in the size and quality of datasets produced by microscopic and spectroscopic experimental techniques. These developments necessitate adequate methods for extracting relevant physical and chemical information from the large datasets, for which a priori information on the structures of various atomic configurations and lattice defects is limited or absent. Here we demonstrate an application of deep neural networks to extracting informationmore » from atomically resolved images including location of the atomic species and type of defects. We develop a “weakly-supervised” approach that uses information on the coordinates of all atomic species in the image, extracted via a deep neural network, to identify a rich variety of defects that are not part of an initial training set. We further apply our approach to interpret complex atomic and defect transformation, including switching between different coordination of silicon dopants in graphene as a function of time, formation of peculiar silicon dimer with mixed 3-fold and 4-fold coordination, and the motion of molecular “rotor”. In conclusion, this deep learning based approach resembles logic of a human operator, but can be scaled leading to significant shift in the way of extracting and analyzing information from raw experimental data.« less
  7. Time of flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF SIMS) is one of the most powerful characterization tools allowing imaging of the chemical properties of various systems and materials. It allows precise studies of the chemical composition with sub-100-nm lateral and nanometer depth spatial resolution. However, comprehensive interpretation of ToF SIMS results is challengeable, because of the data volume and its multidimensionality. Furthermore, investigation of the samples with pronounced topographical features are complicated by the spectral shift. In this work we developed approach for the comprehensive ToF SIMS data interpretation based on the data analytics and automated extraction of the samplemore » topography based on time of flight shift. We further applied this approach to investigate correlation between biological function and chemical composition in Arabidopsis roots.« less
  8. Flexoelectricity refers to electric polarization generated by heterogeneous mechanical strains, namely strain gradients, in materials of arbitrary crystal symmetries. Despite more than 50 years of work on this effect, an accurate identification of its coupling strength remains an experimental challenge for most materials, which impedes its wide recognition. Here, we show the presence of flexoelectricity in the recently discovered polar vortices in PbTiO 3 /SrTiO 3 superlattices based on a combination of machine-learning analysis of the atomic-scale electron microscopy imaging data and phenomenological phase-field modeling. By scrutinizing the influence of flexocoupling on the global vortex structure, we match theory andmore » experiment using computer vision methodologies to determine the flexoelectric coefficients for PbTiO 3 and SrTiO 3. Here, our findings highlight the inherent, nontrivial role of flexoelectricity in the generation of emergent complex polarization morphologies and demonstrate a viable approach to delineating this effect, conducive to the deeper exploration of both topics.« less
  9. Ferroelectric domain walls have continued to attract widespread attention due to both the novelty of the phenomena observed and the ability to reliably pattern them in nanoscale dimensions. But, the conductivity mechanisms remain in debate, particularly around nominally uncharged walls. Here, we posit a conduction mechanism relying on field-modification effect from polarization re-orientation and the structure of the reverse-domain nucleus. Through conductive atomic force microscopy measurements on an ultra-thin (001) BiFeO 3 thin film, in combination with phase-field simulations, we show that the field-induced twisted domain nucleus formed at domain walls results in local-field enhancement around the region of themore » atomic force microscope tip. In conjunction with slight barrier lowering, these two effects are sufficient to explain the observed emission current distribution. Our results suggest that different electronic properties at domain walls are not necessary to observe localized enhancement in domain wall currents.« less

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