4D STEM of energy related materials down to quantum level
4D STEM energijsko učinkovitih materialov do kvantne ravni

No. of contract:

from 01.10.2022 to 30.09.2025


In the proposed large interdisciplinary project, we aim to explore the potential of novel 4D STEM techniques application for in-depth characterization of the selected state-of-the-art functional energy-related materials. Upon the strive for development of sustainable zero-carbon society, a number of functional energy-related materials has found its placing in the emerging green technologies. Li-ion batteries, electrocatalysts, magnetic and ferroelectric materials are found in many of the forefront applications. Contributing to the functional properties of these materials, strain, electric and magnetic fields, combined with the variations in the atomic structure and charge density distribution have a decisive influence on the materials application. Among a number of materials characterization techniques that permit to study these properties, scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM), and, particularly, newly developed 4D STEM approaches, capable to reach down to the quantum level of individual atoms, stand out. In the proposed project we will establish a 4D STEM methodology platform based on model materials and supported by the first principle calculations and machine learning approaches. This methodology will be applied to the functional materials for mapping strain and electric field, extracting quantitative information on local magnetic moments, mapping magnetic texture, visualization of light elements under low energy beam conditions and charge density distribution mapping. Gaining broader understanding of structure/functional properties relation in such manner will promote a more considerate approach to the design of novel functional materials with enhanced properties.