Special Issue "High Precision X-ray Measurements 2021"

A special issue of Condensed Matter (ISSN 2410-3896). This special issue belongs to the section "Spectroscopy and Imaging in Condensed Matter".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2021) | Viewed by 14371

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Alessandro Scordo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
INFN Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati, Frascati, Roma, Italy
Interests: kaonic atoms; x-ray detectors; detectors; bragg spectrometers; new technologies; new detectors; atomic physics; nuclear physics; mosaic crystals; kaon physics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Special Note: The Article Processing Fees will be Waived for all invited contributions from X-ray 2021.

 

HPXM2021 (High Precision X-ray Measurements 2021) is the second event, following HPXM2018, the first conference on High Precision X-ray Measurements held at the INFN Laboratories of Frascati in 2018. In the wake of the great success of the first edition, the conference is planned to consolidate the existing network successfully connecting different research teams, and to expand it. HPXM2021 will be an opportunity for participants to discuss and share results of their different activities, all sharing the goal of the high precision detection of X-rays.

The aim of the conference Special Issue is to update the X-ray physics community, collecting original contributions from different areas and research fields, from the most recent developments in X-ray detection and the possible impacts in nuclear physics, quantum physics, XRF, XES, EXAFS, PIXE, plasma emission spectroscopy, X-ray monochromators, synchrotron radiation, telescopes and space engineering, medical applications, cultural heritage, food and beverage quality control, elemental mapping, etc.

This second Special Issue will also host contributions related to radioprotection and ray-tracing simulations. A special focus of the conference and of the Special Issue continues to be research on graphite mosaic crystals and their applications.

Dr. Alessandro Scordo
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • X-ray energy detectors
  • X-ray position detectors
  • spectrometers
  • X-ray tracing simulations
  • radioprotection
  • X-ray optics
  • graphite-based applications
  • X-ray imaging
  • cultural heritage applications of X-rays
  • X-rays in astrophysics
  • medical applications
  • X-rays in nuclear physics

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
High Precision X-ray Measurements 2021
Condens. Matter 2022, 7(2), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/condmat7020043 - 11 Jun 2022
Viewed by 506
Abstract
High Precision X-ray Measurements 2021 is a Special Issue related to the HPXM2021 conference, held at the INFN Laboratories of Frascati in 2021 [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High Precision X-ray Measurements 2021)

Research

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Article
Plasma-Generated X-ray Pulses: Betatron Radiation Opportunities at [email protected]_LAB
Condens. Matter 2022, 7(1), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/condmat7010023 - 24 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 877
Abstract
EuPRAXIA is a leading European project aimed at the development of a dedicated, ground-breaking, ultra-compact accelerator research infrastructure based on novel plasma acceleration concepts and laser technology and on the development of their users’ communities. Within this framework, the Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati [...] Read more.
EuPRAXIA is a leading European project aimed at the development of a dedicated, ground-breaking, ultra-compact accelerator research infrastructure based on novel plasma acceleration concepts and laser technology and on the development of their users’ communities. Within this framework, the Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati (LNF, INFN) will be equipped with a unique combination of an X-band RF LINAC generating high-brightness GeV-range electron beams, a 0.5 PW class laser system and the first fifth-generation free electron laser (FEL) source driven by a plasma-based accelerator, the [email protected]_LAB facility. Wiggler-like radiation emitted by electrons accelerated in plasma wakefields gives rise to brilliant, ultra-short X-ray pulses, called betatron radiation. Extensive studies have been performed at the FLAME laser facility at LNF, INFN, where betatron radiation was measured and characterized. The purpose of this paper is to describe the betatron spectrum emitted by particle wakefield acceleration at [email protected]_LAB and provide an overview of the foreseen applications of this specific source, thus helping to establish a future user community interested in (possibly coupled) FEL and betatron radiation experiments. In order to provide a quantitative estimate of the expected betatron spectrum and therefore to present suitable applications, we performed simple simulations to determine the spectrum of the betatron radiation emitted at [email protected]_LAB. With reference to experiments performed exploiting similar betatron sources, we highlight the opportunities offered by its brilliant femtosecond pulses for ultra-fast X-ray spectroscopy and imaging measurements, but also as an ancillary tool for designing and testing FEL instrumentation and experiments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High Precision X-ray Measurements 2021)
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Article
Benchmarking Plane Waves Quantum Mechanical Calculations of Iron(II) Tris(2,2′-bipyridine) Complex by X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy
Condens. Matter 2022, 7(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/condmat7010016 - 27 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1127
Abstract
In this work, we used, for the first time, a computational Self-Consistent Field procedure based on plane waves to describe the low and high spin conformational states of the complex [Fe(bpy)3]2+. The results obtained in the study of the minimum [...] Read more.
In this work, we used, for the first time, a computational Self-Consistent Field procedure based on plane waves to describe the low and high spin conformational states of the complex [Fe(bpy)3]2+. The results obtained in the study of the minimum energy structures of this complex, a prototype of a wide class of compounds called Spin Cross Over, show how the plane wave calculations are in line with the most recent studies based on gaussian basis set functions and, above all, reproduce within acceptable errors the experimental spectra of X-ray absorption near-edge structure spectroscopy (XANES). This preliminary study shows the capabilities of plane wave methods to correctly describe the molecular structures of metal-organic complexes of this type and paves the way for future even complex computational simulations based on the energy gradient, such as Nudge Elastic Band or ab-initio Born-Oppenheimer molecular dynamics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High Precision X-ray Measurements 2021)
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Article
ARIA—A VUV Beamline for [email protected]_LAB
Condens. Matter 2022, 7(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/condmat7010011 - 22 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 848
Abstract
[email protected]_LAB is a new Free Electron Laser (FEL) facility that is currently under construction at the Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati of the INFN. The electron beam driving the FEL will be delivered by an X-band normal conducting LINAC followed by a plasma wakefield [...] Read more.
[email protected]_LAB is a new Free Electron Laser (FEL) facility that is currently under construction at the Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati of the INFN. The electron beam driving the FEL will be delivered by an X-band normal conducting LINAC followed by a plasma wakefield acceleration stage. It will be characterized by a small footprint and will deliver ultra-bright photon pulses for experiments in the water window to the user community. In addition to the soft-X-rays beamline already planned in the project, we propose the installation of a second photon beamline with seeded FEL pulses in the range between 50 and 180 nm. Here, we will present the FEL generation scheme, the layout of the dedicated beamline and the potential applications of the FEL radiation source in this low energy range. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High Precision X-ray Measurements 2021)
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Article
Innovative Analytical Method for X-ray Imaging and Space-Resolved Spectroscopy of ECR Plasmas
Condens. Matter 2022, 7(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/condmat7010005 - 28 Dec 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 850
Abstract
At the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics-Southern National Laboratory (INFN-LNS), and in collaboration with the ATOMKI laboratories, an innovative multi-diagnostic system with advanced analytical methods has been designed and implemented. This is based on several detectors and techniques (Optical Emission Spectroscopy, RF [...] Read more.
At the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics-Southern National Laboratory (INFN-LNS), and in collaboration with the ATOMKI laboratories, an innovative multi-diagnostic system with advanced analytical methods has been designed and implemented. This is based on several detectors and techniques (Optical Emission Spectroscopy, RF systems, interfero-polarimetry, X-ray detectors), and here we focus on high-resolution, spatially resolved X-ray spectroscopy, performed by means of a X-ray pin-hole camera setup operating in the 0.5–20 keV energy domain. The diagnostic system was installed at a 14 GHz Electron Cyclotron Resonance (ECR) ion source (ATOMKI, Debrecen), enabling high-precision, X-ray, spectrally resolved imaging of ECR plasmas heated by hundreds of Watts. The achieved spatial and energy resolutions were 0.5 mm and 300 eV at 8 keV, respectively. Here, we present the innovative analysis algorithm that we properly developed to obtain Single Photon-Counted (SPhC) images providing the local plasma-emitted spectrum in a High-Dynamic-Range (HDR) mode, by distinguishing fluorescence lines of the materials of the plasma chamber (Ti, Ta) from plasma (Ar). This method allows for a quantitative characterization of warm electrons population in the plasma (and its 2D distribution), which are the most important for ionization, and to estimate local plasma density and spectral temperatures. The developed post-processing analysis is also able to remove the readout noise that is often observable at very low exposure times (msec). The setup is now being updated, including fast shutters and trigger systems to allow simultaneous space and time-resolved plasma spectroscopy during transients, stable and turbulent regimes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High Precision X-ray Measurements 2021)
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Article
High-Sensitivity X-ray Phase Imaging System Based on a Hartmann Wavefront Sensor
Condens. Matter 2022, 7(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/condmat7010003 - 27 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 873
Abstract
The Hartman wavefront sensor can be used for X-ray phase imaging with high angular resolution. The Hartmann sensor is able to retrieve both the phase and absorption from a single acquisition. The system calculates the shift in a series of apertures imaged with [...] Read more.
The Hartman wavefront sensor can be used for X-ray phase imaging with high angular resolution. The Hartmann sensor is able to retrieve both the phase and absorption from a single acquisition. The system calculates the shift in a series of apertures imaged with a detector with respect to their reference positions. In this article, the impact of the reference image on the final image quality is investigated using a laboratory setup. Deflection and absorption images of the same sample are compared using reference images acquired in air and in water. It can be easily coupled with tomographic setups to obtain 3D images of both phase and absorption. Tomographic images of a test sample are shown, where deflection images revealed details that were invisible in absorption. The findings reported in this paper can be used for the improvement of image reconstruction and for expanding the applications of X-ray phase imaging towards materials characterization and medical imaging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High Precision X-ray Measurements 2021)
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Article
High-Precision X-ray Total Scattering Measurements Using a High-Accuracy Detector System
Condens. Matter 2022, 7(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/condmat7010002 - 24 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 734
Abstract
The total scattering method, which is based on measurements of both Bragg and diffuse scattering on an equal basis, has been still challenging even by means of synchrotron X-rays. This is because such measurements require a wide coverage in scattering vector Q, [...] Read more.
The total scattering method, which is based on measurements of both Bragg and diffuse scattering on an equal basis, has been still challenging even by means of synchrotron X-rays. This is because such measurements require a wide coverage in scattering vector Q, high Q resolution, and a wide dynamic range for X-ray detectors. There is a trade-off relationship between the coverage and resolution in Q, whereas the dynamic range is defined by differences in X-ray response between detector channels (X-ray response non-uniformity: XRNU). XRNU is one of the systematic errors for individual channels, while it appears to be a random error for different channels. In the present study, taking advantage of the randomness, the true sensitivity for each channel has been statistically estimated. Results indicate that the dynamic range of microstrip modules (MYTHEN, Dectris, Baden-Daettwil, Switzerland), which have been assembled for a total scattering measurement system (OHGI), has been successfully restored from 104 to 106. Furthermore, the correction algorithm has been optimized to increase time efficiencies. As a result, the correcting time has been reduced from half a day to half an hour, which enables on-demand correction for XRNU according to experimental settings. High-precision X-ray total scattering measurements, which has been achieved by a high-accuracy detector system, have demonstrated valence density studies from powder and PDF studies for atomic displacement parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High Precision X-ray Measurements 2021)
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Article
Reflection Efficiency and Spectra Resolutions Ray-Tracing Simulations for the VOXES HAPG Crystal Based Von Hamos Spectrometer
Condens. Matter 2022, 7(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/condmat7010001 - 24 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 898
Abstract
The VOXES collaboration at INFN National Laboratories of Frascati developed a prototype of a high resolution Von Hamos X-ray spectrometer using HAPG (Highly Annealed Pyrolytic Graphite) mosaic crystals. This technology allows the employment of extended isotropic sources and could find application in several [...] Read more.
The VOXES collaboration at INFN National Laboratories of Frascati developed a prototype of a high resolution Von Hamos X-ray spectrometer using HAPG (Highly Annealed Pyrolytic Graphite) mosaic crystals. This technology allows the employment of extended isotropic sources and could find application in several physics fields. The capability of the spectrometer to reach energy precision and resolution below 1 and 10 eV, respectively, when used with wide sources, has been already demonstrated. Recently, the response of this device, for a ρ = 206.7 mm cylindrically bent HAPG crystal using CuKα1,2 and FeKα1,2 XRF lines, has been investigated in terms of reflection efficiency by a dedicated ray-tracing simulation. Details of the simulation procedure and the comparison with the experimental results are presented. This study is crucial in order to retrieve information on the spectrometer signal collection efficiency, especially in the energy range in which the standard calibration procedures cannot be applied. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High Precision X-ray Measurements 2021)
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Article
X-ray Micro-Tomography as a Method to Distinguish and Characterize Natural and Cultivated Pearls
Condens. Matter 2021, 6(4), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/condmat6040051 - 13 Dec 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 759
Abstract
Digital radiography and computed tomography are two fundamental diagnostic techniques in different fields of research, including cultural heritage studies and gemmology. The application of these physical methods of investigation has gained considerable importance as they are non-invasive techniques. The presented work has been [...] Read more.
Digital radiography and computed tomography are two fundamental diagnostic techniques in different fields of research, including cultural heritage studies and gemmology. The application of these physical methods of investigation has gained considerable importance as they are non-invasive techniques. The presented work has been mainly focused on micro-tomographic analysis. The project is concerned with the study of natural and cultivated pearls in order to develop an investigation methodology for the analysis, distinction and characterization of different types of pearls, some of them belonging to different precious jewels from private collections. The investigations, carried out on a total of 22 heterogeneous types of pearls, allowed us to establish their origin (natural or cultivated) or to confirm/deny if a hypothesis was already expressed, and as well to highlight the cultivation methodology used case by case. Furthermore, it was possible to ascertain how large and varied the market for cultured pearls is nowadays and how difficult is, in some particular cases, to ascertain their attribution to a certain origin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High Precision X-ray Measurements 2021)
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Article
Silicon Drift Detectors’ Spectroscopic Response during the SIDDHARTA-2 Kaonic Helium Run at the DAΦNE Collider
Condens. Matter 2021, 6(4), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/condmat6040047 - 25 Nov 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1006
Abstract
A large-area silicon drift detectors (SDDs) system has been developed by the SIDDHARTA-2 collaboration for high precision light kaonic atom X-ray spectroscopy at the DAΦNE collider of Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare—Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati. The SDDs’ geometry and electric field [...] Read more.
A large-area silicon drift detectors (SDDs) system has been developed by the SIDDHARTA-2 collaboration for high precision light kaonic atom X-ray spectroscopy at the DAΦNE collider of Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare—Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati. The SDDs’ geometry and electric field configuration, combined with their read-out electronics, make these devices suitable for performing high precision light kaonic atom spectroscopy measurements in the background of the DAΦNE collider. This work presents the spectroscopic response of the SDDs system during the first exotic atoms run of SIDDHARTA-2 with kaonic helium, a preliminary to the kaonic deuterium data taking campaign. The SIDDHARTA-2 spectroscopic system has good energy resolution and a 2 μs timing window which rejects the asynchronous events, scaling the background by a factor of 105. The results obtained for the first exotic atoms run of SIDDHARTA-2 prove this system to be ready to perform the challenging kaonic deuterium measurement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High Precision X-ray Measurements 2021)
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Article
Study of Multi-Pixel Scintillator Detector Configurations for Measuring Polarized Gamma Radiation
Condens. Matter 2021, 6(4), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/condmat6040043 - 16 Nov 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1065
Abstract
When a positron annihilates, two gamma photons are created with orthogonal polarizations. It is possible to use coincidence measurements where both photons undergo Compton scattering to estimate their initial relative polarization orientation. This information is of great interest in gamma imaging systems, such [...] Read more.
When a positron annihilates, two gamma photons are created with orthogonal polarizations. It is possible to use coincidence measurements where both photons undergo Compton scattering to estimate their initial relative polarization orientation. This information is of great interest in gamma imaging systems, such as Positron Emission Tomography, where it may be used as an additional tool to distinguish true coincidence events from scatter and random background. The successful utilization of this principle critically depends on the detector’s angular and energy resolution, which determine its polarimetric performance. In this study, we use Monte Carlo simulations based on the Geant4 toolkit to model two multi-pixel detector configurations identified as prospective for the measurement of gamma-ray polarization in PET. One is based on 2 mm × 2 mm × 20 mm LYSO scintillators and the other is based on 3 mm × 3 mm × 20 mm GAGG scintillators. Each configuration has a pair of modules, each consisting of 64 crystals set up in a single 8 × 8 matrix, where both the recoil electron and the Compton-scattered photon are absorbed. We simulate positron annihilation by generating two back-to-back gamma photons of 511 keV with orthogonal polarizations. The Compton scattering is successfully identified and the modulation of the azimuthal angle difference is clearly observed. The configuration based on GAGG crystals demonstrates slightly better polarimetric performance than the one based on LYSO crystals, reflected in the more pronounced azimuthal modulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High Precision X-ray Measurements 2021)
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Article
Probing Electron Properties in ECR Plasmas Using X-ray Bremsstrahlung and Fluorescence Emission
Condens. Matter 2021, 6(4), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/condmat6040041 - 05 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 750
Abstract
A quantitative analysis of X-ray emission from an electron cyclotron resonance (ECR) plasma was performed to probe the spatial properties of electrons having energy for effective ionisation. A series of measurements were taken by INFN-LNS and ATOMKI, capturing spatially and spectrally resolved X-ray [...] Read more.
A quantitative analysis of X-ray emission from an electron cyclotron resonance (ECR) plasma was performed to probe the spatial properties of electrons having energy for effective ionisation. A series of measurements were taken by INFN-LNS and ATOMKI, capturing spatially and spectrally resolved X-ray maps as well as volumetric emissions from argon plasma. Comparing the former with model generated maps (involving space-resolved phenomenological electron energy distribution function and geometrical efficiency calculated using ray-tracing Monte Carlo (MC) routine) furnished information on structural aspects of the plasma. Similarly, fitting a model composed of bremsstrahlung and fluorescence to the volumetric X-ray spectrum provided valuable insight into the density and temperature of confined and lost electrons. The latter can be fed back to existing electron kinetics models for simulating more relevant energies, consequently improving theoretical X-ray maps and establishing the method as an excellent indirect diagnostic tool for warm electrons, required for both fundamental and applied research in ECR plasmas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High Precision X-ray Measurements 2021)
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Article
Confocal Fluorescence Microscopy and Confocal Raman Microspectroscopy of X-ray Irradiated LiF Crystals
Condens. Matter 2021, 6(4), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/condmat6040037 - 20 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 879
Abstract
Radiation-induced color centers locally produced in lithium fluoride (LiF) are successfully used for radiation detectors. LiF detectors for extreme ultraviolet radiation, soft and hard X-rays, based on photoluminescence from aggregate electronic defects, are currently under development for imaging applications with laboratory radiation sources, [...] Read more.
Radiation-induced color centers locally produced in lithium fluoride (LiF) are successfully used for radiation detectors. LiF detectors for extreme ultraviolet radiation, soft and hard X-rays, based on photoluminescence from aggregate electronic defects, are currently under development for imaging applications with laboratory radiation sources, as well as large-scale facilities. Among the peculiarities of LiF-based detectors, noteworthy ones are their very high intrinsic spatial resolution across a large field of view, wide dynamic range, and versatility. LiF crystals irradiated with a monochromatic 8 keV X-ray beam at KIT synchrotron light source (Karlsruhe, Germany) and with the broadband white beam spectrum of the synchrotron bending magnet have been investigated by optical spectroscopy, laser scanning confocal microscopy in fluorescence mode, and confocal Raman micro-spectroscopy. The 3D reconstruction of the distributions of the color centers induced by the X-rays has been performed with both confocal techniques. The combination of the LiF crystal capability to register volumetric X-ray mapping with the optical sectioning operations of the confocal techniques has allowed performing 3D reconstructions of the X-ray colored volumes and it could provide advanced tools for 3D X-ray detection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High Precision X-ray Measurements 2021)
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Article
A Parameter Refinement Method for Ptychography Based on Deep Learning Concepts
Condens. Matter 2021, 6(4), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/condmat6040036 - 14 Oct 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1339
Abstract
X-ray ptychography is an advanced computational microscopy technique, which is delivering exceptionally detailed quantitative imaging of biological and nanotechnology specimens, which can be used for high-precision X-ray measurements. However, coarse parametrisation in propagation distance, position errors and partial coherence frequently threaten the experimental [...] Read more.
X-ray ptychography is an advanced computational microscopy technique, which is delivering exceptionally detailed quantitative imaging of biological and nanotechnology specimens, which can be used for high-precision X-ray measurements. However, coarse parametrisation in propagation distance, position errors and partial coherence frequently threaten the experimental viability. In this work, we formally introduce these actors, solving the whole reconstruction as an optimisation problem. A modern deep learning framework was used to autonomously correct the setup incoherences, thus improving the quality of a ptychography reconstruction. Automatic procedures are indeed crucial to reduce the time for a reliable analysis, which has a significant impact on all the fields that use this kind of microscopy. We implemented our algorithm in our software framework, SciComPty, releasing it as open-source. We tested our system on both synthetic datasets, as well as on real data acquired at the TwinMic beamline of the Elettra synchrotron facility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High Precision X-ray Measurements 2021)
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Review

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Review
Functional Nanoscale Phase Separation and Intertwined Order in Quantum Complex Materials
Condens. Matter 2021, 6(4), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/condmat6040040 - 05 Nov 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 857
Abstract
Nanoscale phase separation (NPS), characterized by particular types of correlated disorders, plays an important role in the functionality of high-temperature superconductors (HTS). Our results show that multiscale heterogeneity is an essential ingredient of quantum functionality in complex materials. Here, the interactions developing between [...] Read more.
Nanoscale phase separation (NPS), characterized by particular types of correlated disorders, plays an important role in the functionality of high-temperature superconductors (HTS). Our results show that multiscale heterogeneity is an essential ingredient of quantum functionality in complex materials. Here, the interactions developing between different structural units cause dynamical spatiotemporal conformations with correlated disorder; thus, visualizing conformational landscapes is fundamental for understanding the physical properties of complex matter and requires advanced methodologies based on high-precision X-ray measurements. We discuss the connections between the dynamical correlated disorder at nanoscale and the functionality in oxygen-doped perovskite superconducting materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High Precision X-ray Measurements 2021)
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