Accelerating Quantum Materials Development with Advances in Transmission Electron Microscopy.
Quantum materials are driving a technology revolution in sensing, communication, and computing, while simultaneously testing many core theories of the past century. Materials such as topological insulators, complex oxides, superconductors, quantum dots, color center-hosting semiconductors, and other types of strongly correlated materials can exhibit exotic properties such as edge conductivity, multiferroicity, magnetoresistance, superconductivity, single photon emission, and optical-spin locking. These emergent properties arise and depend strongly on the material's detailed atomic-scale structure, including atomic defects, dopants, and lattice stacking. In this review, we describe how progress in the field of electron microscopy (EM), including in situ and in operando EM, can accelerate advances in quantum materials and quantum excitations. We begin by describing fundamental EM principles and operation modes. We then discuss various EM methods such as (i) EM spectroscopies, including electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS), cathodoluminescence (CL), and electron energy gain spectroscopy (EEGS); (ii) four-dimensional scanning transmission electron microscopy (4D-STEM); (iii) dynamic and ultrafast EM (UEM); (iv) complementary ultrafast spectroscopies (UED, XFEL); and (v) atomic electron tomography (AET). We describe how these methods could inform structure-function relations in quantum materials down to the picometer scale and femtosecond time resolution, and how they enable precision positioning of atomic defects and high-resolution manipulation of quantum materials. For each method, we also describe existing limitations to solve open quantum mechanical questions, and how they might be addressed to accelerate progress. Among numerous notable results, our review highlights how EM is enabling identification of the 3D structure of quantum defects; measuring reversible and metastable dynamics of quantum excitations; mapping exciton states and single photon emission; measuring nanoscale thermal transport and coupled excitation dynamics; and measuring the internal electric field and charge density distribution of quantum heterointerfaces- all at the quantum materials' intrinsic atomic and near atomic-length scale. We conclude by describing open challenges for the future, including achieving stable sample holders for ultralow temperature (below 10K) atomic-scale spatial resolution, stable spectrometers that enable meV energy resolution, and high-resolution, dynamic mapping of magnetic and spin fields. With atomic manipulation and ultrafast characterization enabled by EM, quantum materials will be poised to integrate into many of the sustainable and energy-efficient technologies needed for the 21st century.
View details for DOI 10.1021/acs.chemrev.2c00917
View details for PubMedID 37979189
Rapid genetic screening with high quality factor metasurfaces.
2023; 14 (1): 4486
Genetic analysis methods are foundational to advancing personalized medicine, accelerating disease diagnostics, and monitoring the health of organisms and ecosystems. Current nucleic acid technologies such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and next-generation sequencing (NGS) rely on sample amplification and can suffer from inhibition. Here, we introduce a label-free genetic screening platform based on high quality (high-Q) factor silicon nanoantennas functionalized with nucleic acid fragments. Each high-Q nanoantenna exhibits average resonant quality factors of 2,200 in physiological buffer. We quantitatively detect two gene fragments, SARS-CoV-2 envelope (E) and open reading frame 1b (ORF1b), with high-specificity via DNA hybridization. We also demonstrate femtomolar sensitivity in buffer and nanomolar sensitivity in spiked nasopharyngeal eluates within 5 minutes. Nanoantennas are patterned at densities of 160,000 devices per cm2, enabling future work on highly-multiplexed detection. Combined with advances in complex sample processing, our work provides a foundation for rapid, compact, and amplification-free molecular assays.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41467-023-39721-w
View details for PubMedID 37495593
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC10372074
- Through thick and thin: how optical cavities control spin NANOPHOTONICS 2023
Double-Bilayer polar nanoregions and Mn antisites in (Ca, Sr)3Mn2O7.
2022; 13 (1): 4927
The layered perovskite Ca3Mn2O7 (CMO) is a hybrid improper ferroelectric candidate proposed for room temperature multiferroicity, which also displays negative thermal expansion behavior due to a competition between coexisting polar and nonpolar phases. However, little is known about the atomic-scale structure of the polar/nonpolar phase coexistence or the underlying physics of its formation and transition. In this work, we report the direct observation of double bilayer polar nanoregions (db-PNRs) in Ca2.9Sr0.1Mn2O7 using aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy (S/TEM). In-situ TEM heating experiments show that the db-PNRs can exist up to 650°C. Electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) studies coupled with first-principles calculations demonstrate that the stabilization mechanism of the db-PNRs is directly related to an Mn oxidation state change (from 4+ to 2+), which is linked to the presence of Mn antisite defects. These findings open the door to manipulating phase coexistence and achieving exotic properties in hybrid improper ferroelectric.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41467-022-32090-w
View details for PubMedID 35995791
Rapid genetic screening with high quality factor metasurfaces.
Genetic analysis methods are foundational to advancing personalized and preventative medicine, accelerating disease diagnostics, and monitoring the health of organisms and ecosystems. Current nucleic acid technologies such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR), next-generation sequencing (NGS), and DNA microarrays rely on fluorescence and absorbance, necessitating sample amplification or replication and leading to increased processing time and cost. Here, we introduce a label-free genetic screening platform based on high quality (high-Q) factor silicon nanoantennas functionalized with monolayers of nucleic acid fragments. Each nanoantenna exhibits substantial electromagnetic field enhancements with sufficiently localized fields to ensure isolation from neighboring resonators, enabling dense biosensor integration. We quantitatively detect complementary target sequences using DNA hybridization simultaneously for arrays of sensing elements patterned at densities of 160,000 pixels per cm$^2$. In physiological buffer, our nanoantennas exhibit average resonant quality factors of 2,200, allowing detection of two gene fragments, SARS-CoV-2 envelope (E) and open reading frame 1b (ORF1b), down to femtomolar concentrations. We also demonstrate high specificity sensing in clinical nasopharyngeal eluates within 5 minutes of sample introduction. Combined with advances in biomarker isolation from complex samples (e.g., mucus, blood, wastewater), our work provides a foundation for rapid, compact, amplification-free and high throughput multiplexed genetic screening assays spanning medical diagnostics to environmental monitoring.
View details for PubMedID 34671699
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC8528080