Strongly correlated electrons in quantum materials give rise to technologically relevant optoelectronic properties such as superconductivity, Bose-Einstein condensation (BEC), and quantum emission. Characterization methods with nanoscale or atomic resolution and high information content are critical for understanding and harnessing quantum phenomena because, strong correlation typically leads to intricate phase diagrams, susceptibility to perturbations, and heterogeneities at the ≈ 1 nm to ≈ 1000 nm scale.
To fulfill these needs NIST is developing a versatile cryogenic (5K), ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) platform for implementing scanning probe microscopy (SPM) based spectroscopic measurements such as Photothermal Induced Resonance (PTIR),1-2 also known as AFM-IR, and scanning tunneling microscopy luminescence (STML).3
PTIR combines the specificity of IR spectroscopy with the resolution of AFM, enabling IR analysis with a spatial resolution smaller than the optical diffraction limit (< 10 nm at 300 K, < 0.1 nm the goal of this project). STML, combines the resolution of STM (0.1 nm) with the broad applicability of electroluminescence. New methods combining spectroscopy and SPM are also under development.
We look for candidates interested in further developing NIST low temperature, SPM-based spectroscopic instrumentation and/or applying it for the characterization of quantum materials and 2D materials in broad range of quantum applications.
1. Centrone, A., Infrared imaging and spectroscopy beyond the diffraction limit. Annu. Rev. Anal. Chem. 2015, 8 (1), 101-126.
2. Brown, L. V.; Davanco, M.; Sun, Z.; Kretinin, A.; Chen, Y.; Matson, J. R.; Vurgaftman, I.; Sharac, N.; Giles, A. J.; Fogler, M. M.; Taniguchi, T.; Watanabe, K.; Novoselov, K. S.; Maier, S. A.; Centrone, A.; Caldwell, J. D., Nanoscale Mapping and Spectroscopy of Nonradiative Hyperbolic Modes in Hexagonal Boron Nitride Nanostructures. Nano Lett. 2018, 18 (3), 1628-1636.
3. Kuhnke, K.; Große, C.; Merino, P.; Kern, K., Atomic-Scale Imaging and Spectroscopy of Electroluminescence at Molecular Interfaces. Chem. Rev. 2017, 117 (7), 5174-5222.
AFM-IR; PTIR; STML; PiFM; Infrared spectroscopy; electroluminescence; nanoscale chemical imaging; atomic force microscopy; scanning tunneling microscopy; near-field imaging; 2D materials; Van der Waals heterostructures; quantum materials; Bose Einstein condensates; BSC; superconductivity; quantum materials; strongly correlated electrons; UHV; materials characterization; nanomaterials