Perfect Imperfections in Quantum Materials

January 4, 2022
Perfect Imperfections in Quantum Materials
(Left) Quasi-elastic diffuse neutron scattering around the (−200) (top) and calculated (bottom). (Right) Illustration of the dislocation walls with {110} slip planes and dislocations shown in red.

Scientific Achievement

It has been shown that plastic-deformation-induced microstructural imperfections enhance the superconducting properties of electron-doped strontium titanate.

Significance and Impact

This work shows how plastic deformation can alter material behavior in previously unexpected ways, with the implication that controlled structural imperfections in quantum materials can be utilized to engineer novel electronic properties for quantum technologies.

Research Details

  • SrTiO3 single crystals plastically deformed by uniaxial pressure may display enhanced superconducting properties.
  • Diffuse neutron and X-ray scattering have revealed that the deformation causes self-organized dislocation structures, containing spatially extended strain with local ferroelectricity and quantum-critical dynamics.
  • The result is consistent with a theory of superconductivity enhanced by soft polar fluctuations.

“Enhanced Superconductivity and Ferroelectric Quantum Criticality in Plastically Deformed Strontium Titanate”

S. Hameed, Damjan Pelc, Zachary Anderson, Avraham Klein, R. J. Spieker, L. Yue, B. Das, J. Ramberger, M. Lukas, Yaohua Liu, M. J. Krogstad, Raymond Osborn, Y. Li, Chris Leighton, R. M. Fernandes, and Martin Greven

Nature Materials, (2021). DOI: