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Research Highlight

Advanced Microscopy Brings New Insights to Heat

Scientific Achievement

Strontium titanate–calcium titanate superlattices are studied using cutting-edge electron microscopy techniques to directly connect atomic-scale variations in oxygen columns to an emergent phonon response that affects the thermal properties.

Significance and Impact

The ability to peer into individual layers of complex nanostructures and extract the structure–property relationships of emergent phenomena enables a new way to search for electronic and quantum materials.

Research Details

  • Integrated center-of-mass imaging directly measures octahedral tilts as a function of superlattice layer depth
  • High spatial/spectral resolution monochromated EELS identifies the phonon response in each layer
  • Ultrafast optics and ab initio calculations connect the emergent response to the macroscopic properties of the structure