|Under the light of electrons
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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.