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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 5, 2025
  2. Abstract

    High-density phase change memory (PCM) storage is proposed for materials with multiple intermediate resistance states, which have been observed in 1T-TaS2due to charge density wave (CDW) phase transitions. However, the metastability responsible for this behavior makes the presence of multistate switching unpredictable in TaS2devices. Here, we demonstrate the fabrication of nanothick verti-lateralH-TaS2/1T-TaS2heterostructures in which the number of endotaxial metallicH-TaS2monolayers dictates the number of resistance transitions in 1T-TaS2lamellae near room temperature. Further, we also observe optically active heterochirality in the CDW superlattice structure, which is modulated in concert with the resistivity steps, and we show how strain engineering can be used to nucleate these polytype conversions. This work positions the principle of endotaxial heterostructures as a promising conceptual framework for reliable, non-volatile, and multi-level switching of structure, chirality, and resistance.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024
  3. Abstract

    Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) is essential for determining atomic scale structures in structural biology and materials science. In structural biology, three-dimensional structures of proteins are routinely determined from thousands of identical particles using phase-contrast TEM. In materials science, three-dimensional atomic structures of complex nanomaterials have been determined using atomic electron tomography (AET). However, neither of these methods can determine the three-dimensional atomic structure of heterogeneous nanomaterials containing light elements. Here, we perform ptychographic electron tomography from 34.5 million diffraction patterns to reconstruct an atomic resolution tilt series of a double wall-carbon nanotube (DW-CNT) encapsulating a complex ZrTe sandwich structure. Class averaging the resulting tilt series images and subpixel localization of the atomic peaks reveals a Zr11Te50structure containing a previously unobserved ZrTe2phase in the core. The experimental realization of atomic resolution ptychographic electron tomography will allow for the structural determination of a wide range of beam-sensitive nanomaterials containing light elements.

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  4. Abstract

    In a scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM), producing a high-resolution image generally requires an electron beam focused to the smallest point possible. However, the magnetic lenses used to focus the beam are unavoidably imperfect, introducing aberrations that limit resolution. Modern STEMs overcome this by using hardware aberration correctors comprised of many multipole elements, but these devices are complex, expensive, and can be difficult to tune. We demonstrate a design for an electrostatic phase plate that can act as an aberration corrector. The corrector is comprised of annular segments, each of which is an independent two-terminal device that can apply a constant or ramped phase shift to a portion of the electron beam. We show the improvement in image resolution using an electrostatic corrector. Engineering criteria impose that much of the beam within the probe-forming aperture be blocked by support bars, leading to large probe tails for the corrected probe that sample the specimen beyond the central lobe. We also show how this device can be used to create other STEM beam profiles such as vortex beams and probes with a high degree of phase diversity, which improve information transfer in ptychographic reconstructions.

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  5. Abstract Material properties strongly depend on the nature and concentration of defects. Characterizing these features may require nano- to atomic-scale resolution to establish structure–property relationships. 4D-STEM, a technique where diffraction patterns are acquired at a grid of points on the sample, provides a versatile method for highlighting defects. Computational analysis of the diffraction patterns with virtual detectors produces images that can map material properties. Here, using multislice simulations, we explore different virtual detectors that can be applied to the diffraction patterns that go beyond the binary response functions that are possible using ordinary STEM detectors. Using graphene and lead titanate as model systems, we investigate the application of virtual detectors to study local order and in particular defects. We find that using a small convergence angle with a rotationally varying detector most efficiently highlights defect signals. With experimental graphene data, we demonstrate the effectiveness of these detectors in characterizing atomic features, including vacancies, as suggested in simulations. Phase and amplitude modification of the electron beam provides another process handle to change image contrast in a 4D-STEM experiment. We demonstrate how tailored electron beams can enhance signals from short-range order and how a vortex beam can be used to characterize local symmetry. 
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  6. Abstract

    Understanding the structure of materials is crucial for engineering devices and materials with enhanced performance. Four-dimensional scanning transmission electron microscopy (4D-STEM) is capable of mapping nanometer-scale local crystallographic structure over micron-scale field of views. However, 4D-STEM datasets can contain tens of thousands of images from a wide variety of material structures, making it difficult to automate detection and classification of structures. Traditional automated analysis pipelines for 4D-STEM focus on supervised approaches, which require prior knowledge of the material structure and cannot describe anomalous or deviant structures. In this article, a pipeline for engineering 4D-STEM feature representations for unsupervised clustering using non-negative matrix factorization (NMF) is introduced. Each feature is evaluated using NMF and results are presented for both simulated and experimental data. It is shown that some data representations more reliably identify overlapping grains. Additionally, real space refinement is applied to identify spatially distinct sample regions, allowing for size and shape analysis to be performed. This work lays the foundation for improved analysis of nanoscale structural features in materials that deviate from expected crystallographic arrangement using 4D-STEM.

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  7. Abstract

    Lattice reconstruction and corresponding strain accumulation plays a key role in defining the electronic structure of two-dimensional moiré superlattices, including those of transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs). Imaging of TMD moirés has so far provided a qualitative understanding of this relaxation process in terms of interlayer stacking energy, while models of the underlying deformation mechanisms have relied on simulations. Here, we use interferometric four-dimensional scanning transmission electron microscopy to quantitatively map the mechanical deformations through which reconstruction occurs in small-angle twisted bilayer MoS2and WSe2/MoS2heterobilayers. We provide direct evidence that local rotations govern relaxation for twisted homobilayers, while local dilations are prominent in heterobilayers possessing a sufficiently large lattice mismatch. Encapsulation of the moiré layers in hBN further localizes and enhances these in-plane reconstruction pathways by suppressing out-of-plane corrugation. We also find that extrinsic uniaxial heterostrain, which introduces a lattice constant difference in twisted homobilayers, leads to accumulation and redistribution of reconstruction strain, demonstrating another route to modify the moiré potential.

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  8. Abstract

    A fast, robust pipeline for strain mapping of crystalline materials is important for many technological applications. Scanning electron nanodiffraction allows us to calculate strain maps with high accuracy and spatial resolutions, but this technique is limited when the electron beam undergoes multiple scattering. Deep-learning methods have the potential to invert these complex signals, but require a large number of training examples. We implement a Fourier space, complex-valued deep-neural network, FCU-Net, to invert highly nonlinear electron diffraction patterns into the corresponding quantitative structure factor images. FCU-Net was trained using over 200,000 unique simulated dynamical diffraction patterns from different combinations of crystal structures, orientations, thicknesses, and microscope parameters, which are augmented with experimental artifacts. We evaluated FCU-Net against simulated and experimental datasets, where it substantially outperforms conventional analysis methods. Our code, models, and training library are open-source and may be adapted to different diffraction measurement problems.

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