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Improvement of MAterials with X-rays (IMAX)
Start date: Nov 1, 2013, End date: Oct 31, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Local modifications of materials with X-ray beams have recently been shown feasible by the researcher of this application in exemplary high-Tc superconducting copper oxide materials. These modifications are not based on materials degradation by the creation of structural damage, but rely on ordering of defects such as oxygen vacancies and interstititals, which can even lead to materials improvements, in this case Tc enhancements. These modifications can be realized locally by micro X-ray beams and therefore shapes can be drawn at will in two dimensions when the X-ray beam is used like a pen. The structures could also be erased again by applying heat treatments. Here we propose with the Intra-European Marie Curie Fellowship to join this expertise of the researcher with the various advanced thin film materials science and nanotechnology techniques available at the University of Twente to further explore the potentialities of this X-ray manipulation for relevant nano-materials. Concomitantly, it will provide the researcher with very valuable training in such areas as materials fabrication, advanced microscopy and nanolithography. Selected thin film complex oxides and their heterostructures, e.g.. SrTiO3-LaAlO3 stacks, graphene and chemical derivatives of graphene will be used for the manipulation through the use of X-rays at synchrotron radiation facilities and in laboratory sources. As a special type of structure, we will look at fractal patterns, which were discovered earlier by the researcher to be a route towards a Tc enhancement in the cuprates, and for which also for the electronic transport properties in non-superconducting materials interesting theoretical predictions have been made.
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