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From X-rays microscopies imaging and control to the realization of nanoscale up to mesoscale complex materials with precisely tuned correlated disorder

1 NEST, Istituto Nanoscienze-CNR & Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, Italy
2 MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology, University of Twente, PO Box 217, 7500AE Enschede, Netherlands

Special Issues: X-ray microscopy in Materials Sciences

With the advent of novel X-ray optics technologies, it has now become possible to focalize X-rays downwards to about 50 nm. This advantage has been exploited both in physical and biological sciences in order to map the k-space characteristics onto the real space of the material. Here we will review the role X-ray microscopies have played in the field of ferroelectrics and high temperature superconductivity since the discovery of fractal self-organization of nanoscale electronic structures in the material. We will point out that the statistical analysis of weak X-ray signals due to superstructures has given unique information on the pattern and disorder displayed by the nanostructure in these materials. Now, the problem is to understand how to manipulate and control these mesoscopic nanoscale electronic and disordered systems in order to lay the basis for the development of competitive electronics. For example, continuous X-ray irradiation is a tool that can be used to control quenched disorder such as oxygen interstitials in cuprates and will therefore be reviewed. However, the artificial design of novel electronic nanoscale materials can also benefit from this information. Indeed, inspired by the nanoscale pattern observed in ferroelectric and superconducting materials with X-ray microscopies, we will discuss the design of nanoscale electronic systems with precisely tuned correlated disorder up to the mesoscale.
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