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  1. Liu, Zhiwen ; Psaltis, Demetri ; Shi, Kebin (Ed.)
    Optical Second Harmonic Generation (SHG) is a nonlinear optical effect widely used for nonlinear optical microscopy and laser frequency conversion. The closed-form analytical solution of the nonlinear optical responses is essential for evaluating the optical responses of new materials whose optical properties are unknown a priori. Many approximations have therefore been employed in the existing analytical approaches, such as slowly varying approximation, weak reflection of the nonlinear polarization, transparent medium, high crystallographic symmetry, Kleinman symmetry, easy crystal orientation along a high-symmetry direction, phase matching conditions and negligible interference among nonlinear waves, which may lead to large errors in the reported material properties. To avoid these approximations, we have developed an open-source package named Second Harmonic Analysis of Anisotropic Rotational Polarimetry (♯SHAARP) for single interface (si) and in multilayers (ml) for homogeneous crystals. The reliability and accuracy are established by experimentally benchmarking with both the SHG polarimetry and Maker fringes predicted from the package using standard materials. and are available through GitHub and, respectively. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 5, 2024
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  4. Abstract Many functional and quantum materials derive their functionality from the responses of both their electronic and lattice subsystems to thermal, electric, and mechanical stimuli or light. Here we propose a dynamical phase-field model for predicting and modeling the dynamics of simultaneous electronic and structural processes and the accompanying mesoscale pattern evolution under static or ultrafast external stimuli. As an illustrative example of application, we study the transient dynamic response of ferroelectric domain walls excited by an ultrafast above-bandgap light pulse. We discover a two-stage relaxational electronic carrier evolution and a structural evolution containing multiple oscillational and relaxational components across picosecond to nanosecond timescales. The phase-field model offers a general theoretical framework which can be applied to a wide range of functional and quantum materials with interactive electronic and lattice orders and phase transitions to understand, predict, and manipulate their ultrafast dynamics and rich mesoscale evolution dynamics of domains, domain walls, and charges. 
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  5. In ferroelectric heterostructures, the interaction between intrinsic polarization and the electric field generates a rich set of localized electrical properties. The local electric field is determined by several connected factors, including the charge distribution of individual unit cells, the interfacial electromechanical boundary conditions, and chemical composition of the interfaces. However, especially in ferroelectric perovskites, a complete description of the local electric field across micro-, nano-, and atomic-length scales is missing. Here, by applying four-dimensional scanning transmission electron microscopy (4D STEM) with multiple probe sizes matching the size of structural features, we directly image the electric field of polarization vortices in (PbTiO3)16/(SrTiO3)16 superlattices and reveal different electric field configurations corresponding to the atomic scale electronic ordering and the nanoscale boundary conditions. The separability of two different fields probed by 4D STEM offers the possibility to reveal how each contributes to the electronic properties of the film.

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  6. New properties and exotic quantum phenomena can form due to periodic nanotextures, including Moire patterns, ferroic domains, and topologically protected magnetization and polarization textures. Despite the availability of powerful tools to characterize the atomic crystal structure, the visualization of nanoscale strain-modulated structural motifs remains challenging. Here, we develop nondestructive real-space imaging of periodic lattice distortions in thin epitaxial films and report an emergent periodic nanotexture in a Mott insulator. Specifically, we combine iterative phase retrieval with unsupervised machine learning to invert the diffuse scattering pattern from conventional X-ray reciprocal-space maps into real-space images of crystalline displacements. Our imaging in PbTiO3/SrTiO3superlattices exhibiting checkerboard strain modulation substantiates published phase-field model calculations. Furthermore, the imaging of biaxially strained Mott insulator Ca2RuO4reveals a strain-induced nanotexture comprised of nanometer-thin metallic-structure wires separated by nanometer-thin Mott-insulating-structure walls, as confirmed by cryogenic scanning transmission electron microscopy (cryo-STEM). The nanotexture in Ca2RuO4film is induced by the metal-to-insulator transition and has not been reported in bulk crystals. We expect the phasing of diffuse X-ray scattering from thin crystalline films in combination with cryo-STEM to open a powerful avenue for discovering, visualizing, and quantifying the periodic strain-modulated structures in quantum materials.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 11, 2024
  7. Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2024