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María Varela del Arco

Tipo Starting Grant 
Acrónimo STEMOX 
Título Under the light of electrons
Panel PE3
Fecha de inicio 1/11/2009
Duración 72 meses
Financiación 1.700.000 €
Ficha Acceder a la ficha completa del proyecto

Here, we propose to explore and characterize new emerging phenomena in low dimensional (LD) and artificially structured oxide based systems by means of advanced electron microscopy techniques. Complex oxides have a large range of applications, since their properties change drastically as their precise composition and structure changes. When obtained in LD configurations new functionalities arise which are of fundamental interest in electronics, spintronics, energy or nanophotonics. We will use atomic resolution imaging and spectroscopy in the aberration corrected electron microscope to map their electronic, optical and magnetic properties by means of electron chiral dichroism. We intend to combine spectroscopic magnetic imaging with plasmonic measurements in order to explore, for the first time ever, the sensitivity of electron spectroscopy to magneto-optical properties at high spatial resolution. Our scientific mission will be to a) synthetize and characterize high quality oxide based LD systems and develop new imaging techniques, in order to b) explore new phenomena in systems showing unexpected behaviors. Our approach relies on comprehensive studies with atomic resolution, in real space, and when possible, at work (under the relevant temperature or pressure conditions). We will combine experiments with theory in order to interpret results and design new avenues to follow. This proposal has also a dual strategic component: 1) to create a new group in Spain devoted to study materials physics in such a way, and 2) to establish a world-class collaboration connecting the group to established growers and theorists, assembling a multidisciplinary team. The potential payoffs we envision are large, and many new and unusual materials, devices and phenomena are anticipated. 


Tipo Proof of Concept
Título Software tools for fast, reliable analysis of magnetic materials in the electron microscope
Fecha de inicio 1/06/2016
Duración 18 meses
Financiación 150.000 €
Ficha Acceder a la ficha completa del proyecto

This proof-of-concept project aims at developing a software tool to be integrated in commercial electron microscope control platforms dedicated to the development of novel magnetic materials. Magnetic materials have applications in different areas such as data storage, sensors, biomedical applications or spintronic devices. Future technological developments will come hand-in-hand with new materials based on novel atomic arrangements, and electron microscopy is a unique technique to analyze nature in an atom-by-atom fashion. Recent improvements in microscope performance ensuing from the correction of optical aberrations are already commercially available. However, a successful transfer of specific, advanced tools into a wider technology development context needs of user-friendly interfaces that can help non-specialist researchers and engineers fully exploit these techniques. This is a particularly pressing need for the magnetic material industry, since a number of techniques sensitive to magnetic quantities have been demonstrated in the electron microscope in the last few years. But the field development is incomplete because they are hampered by time-consuming data acquisition and analysis procedures. No tools exist that are capable of fast optimization, acquisition and analysis of data at the flick of a switch. Here, we propose to fill this gap and develop an optimal software tool ready to be marketed by specialized technical companies. It will consist of an interface that will control and modify the excitations of magnetic lenses, the detectors in charge of data acquisition and, also analyze datasets and calculate parameters relevant to the magnetic behavior of samples of interest. These tools will provide the means to give a new spin to research into the magnetic materials of the future. 

Participant Portal
Euraxess España
Universidad Complutense de Madrid