Robert Hovden Awarded DOE Early Career Research Grant

From MSE press release: Professor Robert Hovden has been selected as a 2023 DOE Early Career Research Award recipient. He is one of 93 scientists across the nation to receive the honor. More information on the award is available here

Professor Hovden’s research, which will make use of high-resolution S/TEM capabilities at (MC)2, is described below: 

Room Temperature Stabilization of Ordered 2D Charge Density Waves in Atomically Thin Materials

In crystals, charge density waves are a spontaneous rearrangement of electrons that mediate metal- insulator transmissons, compete with superconductivity, and demonstrate ultrafast non-volatile switching. Room temperature access to ordered two-dimensional charge density waves would provide next generation computing that is a paradigm shift toward energy efficient computing, low-voltage logic, and quantum-based devices. This research will investigate novel quantum phase of matter, where low- temperature charge density waves are stabilized at room temperature through out-of-plane charge twinning in confined atomic layers. Moreover, at higher temperatures, ordered states emerge, suggesting fragile quantum states can be enhanced. Discovery and synthesis of novel charge density waves requires high-resolution scanning / transmission electron microscopy (S/TEM) where the picoscale, nanoscale, and microscale structure can be measured directly. This research will control emergent charge ordered phases and unveil the mechanics of transformation using in-situ S/TEM with electrical and temperature measurement on nanostructured devices.