Electron and Scanning Probe Microscopies

This program supports basic research in materials sciences using advanced electron and scanning probe microscopy and related spectroscopy techniques to understand the atomic, electronic, and magnetic structures and properties of materials. This activity also supports the development of new instrumentation concepts and quantitative techniques to advance materials characterizations for energy applications. Supported advancements include ultrafast electron diffraction and imaging techniques. The goal is to develop a fundamental understanding of materials, including quantum phenomena, through advanced microscopy, spectroscopy, and the associated theoretical tools.

This activity emphasizes innovative research using electron and scanning probe microscopy techniques for groundbreaking science. These include understanding and controlling nano- or meso-scale inhomogeneity and investigations of the interplay among the quantum observables (e.g., charge, spin) that produce unique quantum phenomena. Research topics include imaging the properties of materials and investigation of electronic structure, spin dynamics, magnetism, phase transitions, transport properties from atomic to mesoscopic length scales, and data science methods in microscopy and data analysis, including machine learning and artificial intelligence. Progress in quantum research requires development of innovative techniques and probes that harness quantum behavior in their characterization schema, as well as the utilization of imaging and spectroscopic techniques for the understanding and control of quantum phenomena. Advanced in situ analysis capabilities for the study of time-dependent phenomena, including dynamics of quantum materials using ultrafast techniques, is also an area of interest in the program.

To obtain more information about this research area, please see the proceedings of our Principal Investigators' Meetings. To better understand how this research area fits within the Department of Energy's Office of Science, please refer to the Basic Energy Science's organization chart and budget request.
For more information about this research area, please contact Dr. Jane Zhu.