Defects Through the Looking Glass

Berkeley Lab researchers characterize individual defects inside a bulk insulator using scanning tunneling microscopy

Nanoscale defects are enormously important in shaping the electrical, optical, and mechanical properties of a material. For example, a defect may donate charge or scatter electrons moving from one point to another. However, observing individual defects in bulk insulators, a ubiquitous and essential component to almost all devices, has remained elusive: it’s far easier to image the detailed electrical structure of conductors than insulators. Read more…

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