Applying coherent diffraction and imaging to the measurement of charge redistribution in functional materials – quantum crystallography
Prof P D Nellist
Dr R J Nicholls
Prof J R Yates
Many functional materials, such as semiconductors, ferroelectrics, battery electrodes and electrolytes and superconductors, rely on the redistribution of charge within their crystal structure as part of their functionality. The emerging field of measuring not only atomic positions but also the charge distribution is known as quantum crystallography. Preliminary work in our laboratory has shown that advanced methods based on coherent diffraction and the associated technique of ptychographic imaging can reveal quantum crystallographic information. The aim of this project is to start to explore the application of these techniques to real functional materials to provide a fundamental understanding of the basis of their functionality. The project will involve advanced electron microscope experiments followed by the use of density functional theory modelling and electron scattering modelling to provide the required charge information. Development of both experimental and modelling methods will be part of this project, and the project would suit a candidate interested in both these aspects.
The description above outlines a possible new research project being offered to prospective new postgraduate students.