Three-Dimensional Defect Structures Characterized Via X-Ray Diffuse Scattering

Dr. Branton Campbell
Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
Brigham Young University


Many of the interesting physical properties of crystalline materials are dominated by deviations from ideal crystallinity (i.e. defects), which are defined by nanoscale correlations rather than long-range order.  While local correlations cannot be characterized via traditional "diffraction" methods, recent advances in x-ray source brightness, detector technology and computational power now make it possible to probe their "diffuse" scattering distributions.  These three-dimensional diffuse scattering patterns often have real aesthetic beauty, while also encoding the local atomic structure.  After building a conceptual framework, I will highlight several complex defect architectures recently discovered in the microporous alumino-silicates, high-temperature superconductors, colossal magnetoresistors and piezoelectric relaxor materials.