SMASC X-ray & Neutron Scattering Research Workshop report

Smart Materials & Systems Committee
11 Dec 2016
Ferroelectric domains

The X-ray & neutron scattering in mutliferroic and ferroelectric workshop series of meetings are co-organised by the Smart Materials & Systems Committee of the UK's Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, Electrosciences Ltd (Director Prof Markys G. Cain) and The XMaS Beamline (Paul Thompson). Our 4th workshop was held at IOM3 London headquarters on 3rd November 2016. Our focus this event was on scientific advances made in these materials systems through the application of these two spectroscopies and the meeting had talks from Judith Driscoll (University of Cambridge), Federica Fabrizi (Diamond Lightsource), Paolo Radaelli (Oxford Clarendon), Pascal Manual (ISIS), Dmitry Chernyshov (ESRF/Swiss Norweigian beamline), Peter Finkel (US Naval Research Labs), Semen Gorfman (University of Siegen, Germany), and Markys Cain (Electrosciences/XMaS).

The meeting culminated in an informal yet captivating wrap up session chaired by Bob Cernik. Highlights included the IT challenges associated with the very large datasets expected from the emergence of 2D detectors and 3D reciprocal mapping images (here visualisation strategies need developing), the necessity to explore the complex perovskite relaxor ferroelectric materials with ever smaller beamlines (down to 5-20nm on the APS/Sector31), improving the temporal resolution in dynamic studies using x-ray synchrotrons (such as the TimePIX Diamond impaging system), and in situ measurements of structure, magnetic field, electric field, stress, temperature and pressure, often needed by materials scientists and increasingly by chemists and electrochemists.

Professor Cernik of Manchester University has spent a year on secondment at ESRF and says ‘Multiferroic and ferroelectric materials offer the opportunity for many new types of devices - from ultralow magnetic field sensors to new types of multiple state memories. Much has been learnt of these materials through the use of diffraction and spectroscopy methods through synchrotron and neutron scattering combined with other methods, including bulk and thin film metrology and atomistic modelling’.