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  1. null (Ed.)
  2. Abstract Quasi-periodic excitation of the tunneling junction in a scanning tunneling microscope, by a mode-locked ultrafast laser, superimposes a regular sequence of 15 fs pulses on the DC tunneling current. In the frequency domain, this is a frequency comb with harmonics at integer multiples of the laser pulse repetition frequency. With a gold sample the 200th harmonic at 14.85 GHz has a signal-to-noise ratio of 25 dB, and the power at each harmonic varies inversely with the square of the frequency. Now we report the first measurements with a semiconductor where the laser photon energy must be less than the bandgap energy of the semiconductor; the microwave frequency comb must be measured within 200 μ m of the tunneling junction; and the microwave power is 25 dB below that with a metal sample and falls off more rapidly at the higher harmonics. Our results suggest that the measured attenuation of the microwave harmonics is sensitive to the semiconductor spreading resistance within 1 nm of the tunneling junction. This approach may enable sub-nanometer carrier profiling of semiconductors without requiring the diamond nanoprobes in scanning spreading resistance microscopy. 
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  3. Abstract

    Actinide materials have various applications that range from nuclear energy to quantum computing. Most current efforts have focused on bulk actinide materials. Tuning functional properties by using strain engineering in epitaxial thin films is largely lacking. Using uranium dioxide (UO2) as a model system, in this work, the authors explore strain engineering in actinide epitaxial thin films and investigate the origin of induced ferromagnetism in an antiferromagnet UO2. It is found that UO2+xthin films are hypostoichiometric (x<0) with in‐plane tensile strain, while they are hyperstoichiometric (x>0) with in‐plane compressive strain. Different from strain engineering in non‐actinide oxide thin films, the epitaxial strain in UO2is accommodated by point defects such as vacancies and interstitials due to the low formation energy. Both epitaxial strain and strain relaxation induced point defects such as oxygen/uranium vacancies and oxygen/uranium interstitials can distort magnetic structure and result in magnetic moments. This work reveals the correlation among strain, point defects and ferromagnetism in strain engineered UO2+xthin films and the results offer new opportunities to understand the influence of coupled order parameters on the emergent properties of many other actinide thin films.

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  4. The first two harmonics of a microwave frequency comb (MFC) were measured at a probe which must be within 1 mm of the tunneling junction at the surface of a semiconductor as the sample electrode in a scanning tunneling microscope. The MFC was generated using a passively mode-locked Ti:Sapphire laser with GaN, but lasers with lower photon energy would be required with silicon. The attenuation of the MFC is primarily caused by the spreading resistance in a sub-nm spot at the tunneling junction. Thus, the measured attenuation could be used to determine the carrier density at this spot as an extension of scanning spreading resistance microscopy (SSRM). We anticipate that this effect will enable new nondestructive methods for sub-nm carrier profiling of semiconductors. 
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