Techniques and instrumentation

  • Article
    | Open Access

    Atomic point defects formed by irradiation can dramatically alter material properties, but are difficult to probe, limiting understanding of their impact. Here, the authors introduce an x-ray microscopy approach, based on Bragg ptychography, to visualise the distortion caused by these otherwise invisible defects.

    • Peng Li
    • , Nicholas W. Phillips
    •  & Virginie Chamard
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Experimental measurements involving multiple laser and plasma parameters are useful in understanding the relativistic laser-plasma interactions. Here the authors extend the model of holeboring for arbitrary profiles of laser pulse and plasma scale lengths.

    • J. Hornung
    • , Y. Zobus
    •  & V. Bagnoud
  • Article
    | Open Access

    A travelling wave inside a metal slit can reveal its own waveform by probing deflecting motions of charged particles. Here, a real-time THz oscilloscope was demonstrated by utilizing the relativistic electrons and the subwavelength slit waveguide.

    • In Hyung Baek
    • , Hyun Woo Kim
    •  & Young Uk Jeong
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Aqueous Zn metal batteries are a promising system for high-power electrochemical energy storage. Here, the authors investigate a defective V2O3 cathode via neutron and X-ray techniques and test the material in Zn metal cell configuration for 30k cycles.

    • Kefu Zhu
    • , Shiqiang Wei
    •  & Li Song
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The authors present a super-resolution hyperspectral imaging technique using a nanoscale white light source generated by superfocusing light from a tungsten-halogen lamp. They achieve 6 nm resolution, measuring longitudinal and transverse optical electronic transitions in single-walled carbon nanotubes.

    • Xuezhi Ma
    • , Qiushi Liu
    •  & Ming Liu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Quasiparticle interference is a powerful tool for characterization of electronic structure which leverages scattering off defects; however, it is limited to quasi two-dimensional materials. Here, the authors demonstrate a method for reconstructing electronic structure of three-dimensional materials from quasiparticle interference data.

    • C. A. Marques
    • , M. S. Bahramy
    •  & P. Wahl
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Grain boundary can change its structure upon deformation. Here, the authors show that during this process, grain boundary mobility can be tuned dynamically via a self-stimulated twinning process.

    • Qishan Huang
    • , Qi Zhu
    •  & Jiangwei Wang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Here, the authors present Synthetic Wavelength Holography, an approach for Non-Line-of-Sight imaging. By exploiting spectral correlations in scattered light, the authors transform real world surfaces such as walls or scatterers into High-Resolution, Wide-Field-of-View imaging portals that provide holograms of objects obscured from view.

    • Florian Willomitzer
    • , Prasanna V. Rangarajan
    •  & Oliver Cossairt
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Here, the authors present MRI hardware and an image-processing pipeline for simultaneous functional imaging of two marmosets within the same scanner, removing the confounds of remote hyperscanning.

    • Kyle M. Gilbert
    • , Justine C. Cléry
    •  & Stefan Everling
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Thermoresponsive polymers are used in numerous technological applications but well established, direct techniques for elucidating their elevated temperature, solution-phase, nanoscale morphologies and dynamics are lacking. Here, the authors examine thermoresponsive polymeric materials by liquid-cell transmission electron microscopy and gain insight into their thermal-responsive behaviour.

    • Joanna Korpanty
    • , Lucas R. Parent
    •  & Nathan C. Gianneschi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Non-line-of-sight imaging can recover the 3D geometry of hidden objects, but is limited by weak multibounce signals. Here, the authors introduce a multipixel time-of-flight NLOS imaging approach, combining array detectors and a fast algorithm, for live reconstruction of natural nonretroreflective objects.

    • Ji Hyun Nam
    • , Eric Brandt
    •  & Andreas Velten
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Photoluminescence lifetime imaging of upconverting nanoparticles is useful for optical thermometry, but is limited for dynamic samples. Here, the authors present a wide-field and single shot approach based on compressive sensing, for video-rate upconversion temperature sensing of moving samples.

    • Xianglei Liu
    • , Artiom Skripka
    •  & Jinyang Liang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Light induced magnetization dynamics can be as fast as few tens of femtoseconds. Here, Zayko et al show ultrafast microscopy based on high-harmonic radiation for direct imaging of ultrafast phenomena and capture femtosecond spin dynamics at the nanoscale.

    • Sergey Zayko
    • , Ofer Kfir
    •  & Claus Ropers
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Morphology of organic thin film, including the in-plane and out-of-plane directions, plays a crucial role in determining the performance of organic solar cells, yet the characterisation is challenging for the out-of-plane direction. Here, the authors use GTSAXS to uncover the nanomorphology in this dimension, and show how it affects exciton dissociation and charge transfer.

    • Xinxin Xia
    • , Tsz-Ki Lau
    •  & Xinhui Lu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Accurate 3D representations of lithium-ion battery electrodes can help in understanding and ultimately improving battery performance. Here, the authors report a methodology for using deep-learning tools to reliably distinguish the different electrode material phases where standard approaches fail.

    • Simon Müller
    • , Christina Sauter
    •  & Vanessa Wood
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The commercial application of 3D printing is limited by time constraints and current efforts to speed the process are economically inefficient. Here the authors report on the use of a green and inexpensive hydrogel to separate the interface and cured components in common stereolithographic processes to allow for rapid printing.

    • Jingjun Wu
    • , Jing Guo
    •  & Qian Zhao
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Skyrmions, a topological spin texture, have been found in a variety of magnetic systems, including quantum hall ferromagnets. Here, Yang et al demonstrate the existence of skyrmions in domain walls in a quantum Hall ferromagnet, and suggest that these skyrmions form a 1D Wigner crystal.

    • Kaifeng Yang
    • , Katsumi Nagase
    •  & Hongwu Liu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Nanomechanical resonators can be improved through rational design. Using an inverse design approach the authors achieve ultra-coherent resonators and pave the way towards the engineering of high performance micro- and nanomechanical resonators.

    • Dennis Høj
    • , Fengwen Wang
    •  & Ulrik Lund Andersen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    CPT violation could manifest itself in annihilating positronium events, but searching for this effect would require to know the spin of the annihilating system. Here, the authors do this using a positron-emission tomography scanner, finding no violation with a statistical precision of 10−4.

    • P. Moskal
    • , A. Gajos
    •  & W. Wiślicki
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Characterizing an unknown, complex system, like an accelerator, in multi-dimensional space is a challenging task. Here the authors report a Bayesian active learning method - Constrained Proximal Bayesian Exploration - for the characterization of a complex, constrained measurement as a function of multiple free parameters.

    • Ryan Roussel
    • , Juan Pablo Gonzalez-Aguilera
    •  & Auralee Edelen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Bioinspired materials require an understanding of how biomaterials achieve the materials properties. Here, the authors report on the load-bearing shell of Discinisca tenuis and explore how hydration changes the dry shell from hard and stiff to soft and flexible within minutes by reorganisation caused by organic matrix swelling.

    • Johannes Ihli
    • , Anna S. Schenk
    •  & Fabio Nudelman
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Free carriers and electrical polarization coexist in ferroelectric metals. Here, the authors use a capacitive method to probe the electronic compressibility of free carriers in a tunable semimetal, extract the polarized contribution, and study the carrier dependence of the ferroelectric state.

    • Sergio C. de la Barrera
    • , Qingrui Cao
    •  & Benjamin M. Hunt
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Artificial sodium channels open up the way to new separation technologies but remains highly challenging. In this work, the authors report an artificial sodium-selective ionic device, built on porous crown-ether crystals with a sodium ion selectivity against calcium ions exceeding that one of biological ion channel counterparts.

    • Tingyan Ye
    • , Gaolei Hou
    •  & Jun Gao
  • Article
    | Open Access

    In chocolate production, a complicated tempering process is used to guide the crystallization of cocoa butter towards its most desirable polymorph, which gives the chocolate proper melting behavior, gloss, and snap—hallmarks of good quality chocolate. Here, the authors find that simply adding a specific phospholipid also directs crystallization towards this polymorph, producing chocolate with comparable microstructure and properties to tempered chocolate.

    • Jay Chen
    • , Saeed M. Ghazani
    •  & Alejandro G. Marangoni
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The limited strength of green parts have been a major hurdle in the Binder Jet Additive Manufacturing. Here the authors apply polyethyleneimine binder to print silica sand structures with double the flexural strength of green parts and 8-fold increase in the strength upon reactive infiltration.

    • Dustin B. Gilmer
    • , Lu Han
    •  & Tomonori Saito
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Electron beam lithography (EBL) is renowned to provide fabrication resolution in the deep nanometer scale but their incapability of arbitrary 3D nanofabrication poses a major limitation to the technique. Here, the authors demonstrate a manufacturing technique of functional 3d nanostructures at a resolution of sub-15 nm using voltage-regulated 3d EBL.

    • Nan Qin
    • , Zhi-Gang Qian
    •  & Tiger H. Tao
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Balances for nanoparticles such as resonating fluid-filled cantilevers usually probe only mass through changes in oscillation frequency. Katsikis and Collis et al. tap information from previously ignored rotational motion to simultaneously measure particle mass and volume.

    • Georgios Katsikis
    • , Jesse F. Collis
    •  & Scott R. Manalis
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The morphology of semicrystalline plastics on the 1-100 μm scale, such as spherulites, strongly affect mechanical and other properties of the material but currently only 2D imaging techniques are available. Here, the authors use fluorescence labels and confocal microscopy to visualize the internal structure of neat polymers and composites in 3D and reveal unsuspected morphologies.

    • Shu-Gui Yang
    • , Zhen-Zhen Wei
    •  & Goran Ungar
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The authors introduce an analytical approach for quantitative analysis of 3D atom dynamics during electron microscopy. They image a Co-Mo-S nanocrystal with 1.5 Å resolution, and observe chemical transformations caused by beam-stimulated vibrations.

    • Fu-Rong Chen
    • , Dirk Van Dyck
    •  & Stig Helveg
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Spatiotemporal dynamic of charge carriers is commonly studied with optical or photoconductivity measurements, yet these techniques come with their own limitations. To circumvent these limits, the authors probe the free-carrier diffusion dynamics of microsecond lifetimes via laser-illuminated microwave impedance microscopy.

    • Xuejian Ma
    • , Fei Zhang
    •  & Keji Lai
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Advanced fabrication techniques enable a wide range of quantum devices, such as the realization of a topological qubit. Here, the authors introduce an on-chip fabrication technique based on shadow walls to implement topological qubits in an InSb nanowire without fabrication steps such as lithography and etching.

    • Sebastian Heedt
    • , Marina Quintero-Pérez
    •  & Leo P. Kouwenhoven
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Maragoni microswimmers show the advantage of self-propulsion but their development is limited by fabrication techniques. Here, the authors use a photopatterning method which allows for a high throughput production of maragoni microswimmers with multiple functional parts and distinct materials properties.

    • Yeongjae Choi
    • , Cheolheon Park
    •  & Wook Park
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The authors demonstrate efficient excitation of nanodiamonds by a focused beam of helium ions, resulting in ionoluminescence. They use this for quantification and correlative localization of single particles within a whole cell at sub-30 nm resolution, and investigate nanodiamond radiosensitisation effects.

    • Zhaohong Mi
    • , Ce-Belle Chen
    •  & Andrew A. Bettiol
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Honeycomb layered oxides are an emerging class of materials with peculiar physicochemical properties. Here, the authors report the synthesis and electrochemical energy storage characterisations of a mixed-alkali honeycomb layered oxide material capable of storing Na and K ions simultaneously.

    • Titus Masese
    • , Yoshinobu Miyazaki
    •  & Tomohiro Saito
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The detailed understanding of the structural variations during cycling in cathodes for Zn-ion aqueous rechargeable batteries is still limited. Here, the authors utilize atomic-column-resolved scanning transmission electron microscopy to elucidate multiphase evolution during hydrated Zn-Ion insertion in vanadium oxide.

    • Pilgyu Byeon
    • , Youngjae Hong
    •  & Sung-Yoon Chung
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Photon upconversion with near-infrared excitation and ultraviolet emission has many applications, but suffers from low quantum efficiency. Here, the authors report a six-photon upconversion process in nanoparticles with heterogeneous core-multishell structure, that regulate the energy transfer pathway.

    • Qianqian Su
    • , Han-Lin Wei
    •  & Dayong Jin
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Structural and morphological control of crystalline nanoparticles is crucial in heterogeneous catalysis. Applying DFT-assisted solid-state NMR spectroscopy, we determine the surface crystal and electronic structure of Ni2P nanoparticles, unveiling NMR nanocrystallography as an emerging tool in facet-engineered nanocatalysts.

    • Wassilios Papawassiliou
    • , José P. Carvalho
    •  & Andrew J. Pell
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Despite the important role of ligands in designing nanoparticles, directly imaging them on the nanoparticle surface remains a challenge. Here, the authors use atom probe tomography to map the spatial distribution of ligands on nanoparticles and reveal that the interplay between halide and cetrimonium ligands decides the oxidation resistance and shape of Pd nanoparticles.

    • Kyuseon Jang
    • , Se-Ho Kim
    •  & Pyuck-Pa Choi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Adsorption is a fundamentally important process but challenging to quantify, especially at the nanoscale. Here, the authors map the adsorption affinity and cooperativity of various ligands on single gold nanoparticles and discover adsorption crossover behaviors between different facets, leading to a strategy to control particle shape.

    • Rong Ye
    • , Ming Zhao
    •  & Peng Chen