Q. M. Ramasse

The University of Manchester, Manchester, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (128)455.99 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The functional properties of transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) may be promoted by the inclusion of other elements. Here, we studied the local stoichiometry of single cobalt promoter atoms in an industrial-style MoS2-based hydrotreating catalyst. Aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy and electron energy loss spectroscopy show that the Co atoms occupy sites at the (−100) S edge terminations of the graphite-supported MoS2 nanocrystals in the catalyst. Specifically, each Co atom has four neighboring S atoms that are arranged in a reconstructed geometry, which reflects an equilibrium state. The structure agrees with complementary studies of catalysts that were prepared under vastly different conditions and on other supports. In contrast, a small amount of residual Fe in the graphite is found to compete for the S edge sites, so that promotion by Co is strongly sensitive to the purity of the raw materials. The present single-atom-sensitive analytical method therefore offers a guide for advancing preparative methods for promoted TMD nanomaterials.
    Angewandte Chemie 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The functional properties of transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) may be promoted by the inclusion of other elements. Here, we studied the local stoichiometry of single cobalt promoter atoms in an industrial-style MoS2 -based hydrotreating catalyst. Aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy and electron energy loss spectroscopy show that the Co atoms occupy sites at the (-100) S edge terminations of the graphite-supported MoS2 nanocrystals in the catalyst. Specifically, each Co atom has four neighboring S atoms that are arranged in a reconstructed geometry, which reflects an equilibrium state. The structure agrees with complementary studies of catalysts that were prepared under vastly different conditions and on other supports. In contrast, a small amount of residual Fe in the graphite is found to compete for the S edge sites, so that promotion by Co is strongly sensitive to the purity of the raw materials. The present single-atom-sensitive analytical method therefore offers a guide for advancing preparative methods for promoted TMD nanomaterials.
    Angewandte Chemie International Edition in English 07/2014; · 13.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We demonstrate that 60 keV electron irradiation drives the diffusion of threefold coordinated Si dopants in graphene by one lattice site at a time. First principles simulations reveal that each step is caused by an electron impact on a C atom next to the dopant. Although the atomic motion happens below our experimental time resolution, stochastic analysis of 38 such lattice jumps reveals a probability for their occurrence in a good agreement with the simulations. Conversions from three- to fourfold coordinated dopant structures and the subsequent reverse process are significantly less likely than the direct bond inversion. Our results thus provide a model of non-destructive and atomically precise structural modification and detection for two-dimensional materials.
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    ABSTRACT: Depth-sensitive magnetic, structural and chemical characterization is important in the understanding and optimization of novel physical phenomena emerging at interfaces of transition metal oxide heterostructures. In a simultaneous approach we have used polarized neutron and resonant X-ray reflectometry to determine the magnetic profile across atomically sharp interfaces of ferromagnetic La0.67Sr0.33MnO3 / multiferroic BiFeO3 bi-layers with sub-nanometer resolution. In particular, the X-ray resonant magnetic reflectivity measurements at the Fe and Mn resonance edges allowed us to determine the element specific depth profile of the ferromagnetic moments in both the La0.67Sr0.33MnO3 and BiFeO3 layers. Our measurements indicate a magnetically diluted interface layer within the La0.67Sr0.33MnO3 layer, in contrast to previous observations on inversely deposited layers. Additional resonant X-ray reflection measurements indicate a region of an altered Mn- and O-content at the interface, with a thickness matching that of the magnetic diluted layer, as origin of the reduction of the magnetic moment.
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    ABSTRACT: Two-dimensional (2D) materials, graphene, hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) and transition metal dichalcogenides (TMD) have been investigated by means of Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy (STEM), in particular via High Angle Annular Dark Field (HAADF) imaging technique. They are compared in terms of their structure and durability under intense electron beams.
    Journal of Physics Conference Series 06/2014; 522(1):012077.
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    ABSTRACT: Iron-rhodium (FeRh) nanoislands of equiatomic composition have been analysed using scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) electron energy loss spec-troscopy(EELS) and high angle annular dark field (HAADF) techniques. Previous magne-tometry results have lead to a hypothesis that at room temperature the core of the islands are antiferromagnetic while the shell has a small ferromagnetic signal. The causes of this effect are most likely to be a difference in composition at the edges or a strain on the island that stretches the lattice and forces the ferromagnetic transition. The results find, at the film-substrate interface, an iron-rich layer ~ 5 Å thick that could play a key role in affecting the magnetostructural transition around the interfacial region and account for the room temperature ferromagnetism.
    Journal of Physics Conference Series 06/2014; 522(1):012039.
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    ABSTRACT: Palladium atoms have been deposited onto graphene where they catalyse etching processes in conjunction with the e-beam, during/after which they reside at the edges of the holes, which have formed in the graphene. Energy filtered imaging reveals that the low loss feature at 2-4 eV constituting the shoulder of the graphene n-plasmon, is up to 10 times enhanced at Pd-decorated graphene edges compared to clean monolayer graphene, rendering it a useful feature for electric field enhancement applications in the optical regime
    Journal of Physics Conference Series 06/2014; 522(1):012078.
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper, the structural and electronic properties of epitaxial graphene (EG) grown on 8°-off 4H─SiC (0001) by high temperature thermal processes have been extensively investigated by a combination of several high resolution characterization techniques. The increase in the number of graphene layers with the growth temperature (from 1600 to 1700 °C) was studied by microRaman spectroscopy and high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) on cross-sectioned samples. The few layers of graphene reside on a stepped SiC surface with alternating (0001) terraces and (11−2n) facets. Peculiar corrugations (wrinkles) in the graphene membrane preferentially oriented perpendicularly to the substrate steps were also observed. Motivated by recent atomic resolution studies of the EG/SiC interface revealing a local delamination of the interfacial C buffer from the (11−2n) facets, we searched for a correlation of these interfacial structural properties with the macroscopic electronic transport in EG field effect transistors (FETs). In particular, electrical characterization of EG top gated FETs fabricated with the channel length parallel or perpendicular to the substrate steps revealed a peculiar anisotropy of the channel conductance with respect to the steps' orientation. This effect was explained in terms of a local enhancement of EG resistance on the (11−2n) facets with respect to the (0001) basal plane, which is consistent with a reduced doping due to the local buffer layer delamination from those facets. Furthermore, scanning probe microscopy-based local electron mean free path measurements on EG showed a ~3× enhancement of mean free path on the buffer-layer-free (11−2n) facets with respect to (0001) terraces, probably associated to a strong reduction of Coulomb scattering effects on graphene's electrons.
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    ABSTRACT: The crystal structure of FePt nanoparticles of mean size of 6 nm produced by gas-phase condensation is characterized using a combination of high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) and high-angle annular dark field (HAADF) imaging in scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM). These FePt nanoparticles are found to be chemically ordered, decahedral shaped, and Pt enriched at the surfaces. The experimentally determined crystallographic lattice constants and distribution of Fe and Pt atoms are compared with first-principles calculations of ordered decahedral FePt nanoparticles to confirm the discovery of a unique decahedral structure with Fe/Pt ordering and Pt surface segregation.
    Physical Review B 04/2014; 89(16):161406(R). · 3.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We investigated the nanoscale mineralogy of alteration features in the CM Maribo by TEM-STXM. Maribo is one of the least-altered CM chondrites in our collection.
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    ABSTRACT: Aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy combined with electron energy loss spectroscopy has been used to determine the distribution of Cu and Ag atomic columns of precipitates in an Al–Mg–Si–Cu–Ag alloy. Cu columns were commonly part of C and Q′ phases, with the atomic columns having large projected separations. Columns containing Ag were more tightly spaced, in areas lacking repeating unit cells and at incoherent precipitate–host lattice interfaces. Cu-rich and Ag-rich areas were not found to intermix.
    Scripta Materialia. 01/2014; 74:92–95.
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    ABSTRACT: Cation intermixing at functional oxide interfaces remains a highly controversial area directly relevant to interface-driven nanoelectronic device properties. Here, we systematically explore the cation intermixing in epitaxial (001) oriented multiferroic bismuth ferrite (BFO) grown on a (001) lanthanum aluminate (LAO) substrate. Aberration corrected dedicated scanning transmission electron microscopy and electron energy loss spectroscopy reveal that the interface is not chemically sharp, but with an intermixing of ∼2 nm. The driving force for this process is identified as misfit-driven elastic strain. Landau-Ginzburg-Devonshire-based phenomenological theory was combined with the Sheldon and Shenoy formula in order to understand the influence of boundary conditions and depolarizing fields arising from misfit strain between the LAO substrate and BFO film. The theory predicts the presence of a strong potential gradient at the interface, which decays on moving into the bulk of the film. This potential gradient is significant enough to drive the cation migration across the interface, thereby mitigating the misfit strain. Our results offer new insights on how chemical roughening at oxide interfaces can be effective in stabilizing the structural integrity of the interface without the need for misfit dislocations. These findings offer a general formalism for understanding cation intermixing at highly strained oxide interfaces that are used in nanoelectronic devices.
    Journal of Applied Physics 01/2014; 115(5):054103-054103-10. · 2.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The dielectric response of pentagonal defects in multilayer graphene nano-cones has been studied by electron energy loss spectroscopy and ab initio simulations. At the cone apex, a strong modification of the dielectric response is observed below the energy of the π plasmon resonance. This is attributed to π → π* interband transitions induced by topology-specific resonant π bonding states as well as π*-σ* hybridization. It is concluded that pentagonal defects strongly affect the local electronic structure in such a way that multi-walled graphene nano-cones should show great promise as field emitters.
    Nanoscale 12/2013; · 6.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Magnetoelectric oxide heterostructures are proposed active layers for spintronic memory and logic devices, where information is conveyed through spin transport in the solid state. Incomplete theories of the coupling between local strain, charge, and magnetic order have limited their deployment into new information and communication technologies. In this study, we report direct, local measurements of strain- and charge-mediated magnetization changes in the La<sub>0.7</sub>Sr<sub>0.3</sub>MnO<sub>3</sub> / PbZr<sub>0.2</sub>Ti<sub>0.8</sub>O<sub>3</sub> system using spatially-resolved characterization techniques in both real and reciprocal space. Polarized neutron reflectometry reveals a graded magnetization that results from both local structural distortions and interfacial screening of bound surface charge from the adjacent ferroelectric. Density functional theory calculations support the experimental observation that strain locally suppresses the magnetization through a change in the Mn- e<sub>g</sub> orbital polarization. We suggest that this local coupling and magnetization suppression may be tuned by controlling the manganite and ferroelectric layer thicknesses, with direct implications for device applications.<sub><sub><sub><sub><sub>
    ACS Nano 12/2013; 8(1):894-903. · 12.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Knowing and controlling the resistivity of an individual nanowire (NW) is crucial for the production of new sensors and devices. For ZnO NWs this is poorly understood; a 10(8) variation in resistivity has previously been reported, making the production of reproducible devices almost impossible. Here, we provide accurate resistivity measurements of individual NWs, using a four-probe scanning tunnelling microscope (STM), revealing a dependence on the NW dimensions. To correctly interpret this behaviour, an atomic level transmission electron microscopy technique was employed to study the structural properties of the NWs in relation to three growth techniques: hydrothermal, catalytic and non-catalytic vapour phase. All NWs were found to be defect free and structurally equivalent; those grown with a metallic catalyst were free from Au contamination. The resistivity measurements showed a distinct increase with decreasing NW diameter, independent of growth technique. The increasing resistivity at small NW diameters was attributed to the dominance of surface states removing electrons from the bulk. However, a fundamental variance in resistivity (10(2)) was observed and attributed to changes in occupied surface state density, an effect which is not seen with other NW materials such as Si. This is examined by a model to predict the effect of surface state occupancy on the measured resistivity and is confirmed with measurements after passivating the ZnO surface. Our results provide an understanding of the primary influence of the reactive nature of the surface and its dramatic effect on the electrical properties of ZnO NWs.
    Nanotechnology 11/2013; 24(43):435706. · 3.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent dramatic progress in studying various two-dimensional (2D) atomic crystals and their heterostructures calls for better and more detailed understanding of their crystallography, reconstruction, stacking order, etc. For this, direct imaging and identification of each and every atom is essential. Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy (STEM) are ideal, and perhaps the only tools for such studies. However, the electron beam can in some cases induce dramatic structure changes and radiation damage becomes an obstacle in obtaining the desired information in imaging and chemical analysis in the (S)TEM. This is the case of 2D materials such as molybdenum disulfide MoS2, but also of many biological specimens, molecules and proteins. Thus, minimizing damage to the specimen is essential for optimum microscopic analysis. In this letter we demonstrate, on the example of MoS2, that encapsulation of such crystals between two layers of graphene allows for a dramatic improvement in stability of the studied 2D crystal, and permits careful control over the defect nature and formation in it. We present STEM data collected from single layer MoS2 samples prepared for observation in the microscope through three distinct procedures. The fabricated single layer MoS2 samples were either left bare (pristine), placed atop a single-layer of graphene or finally encapsulated between single graphene layers. Their behaviour under the electron beam is carefully compared and we show that the MoS2 sample 'sandwiched' between the graphene layers has the highest durability and lowest defect formation rate compared to the other two samples, for very similar experimental conditions.
    ACS Nano 10/2013; · 12.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In the expanding field of plasmonics, accurate control of the degree of plasmon localization is of crucial importance for tailoring optical properties at the nanoscale. In this paper, the degree of plasmon localization is directly probed by recording the momentum transfer dependence (i.e. the dispersion) of plasmon resonance energies using electron energy loss spectroscopy in the aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscope. Limited by the uncertainty principle, resolution in momentum space can easily be tuned by the beam convergence, and it is shown that localization is clearly identifiable, even at low-momentum resolution. In this proof-of-principle study, this technique was applied to multilayer graphene cones containing a varying number of topological defects at their apex. It is shown that a high degree of confinement of the π and π+σ volume plasmons is reached for five pentagonal defects at the cone apex. This effect was attributed to the presence of the topological defects themselves. Furthermore, slight negative refraction was observed for the five-pentagon cone, predominantly affecting the collective excitation of the π electrons.
    Physical Review B 10/2013; 88(15). · 3.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Doping of graphene via low energy ion implantation could open possibilities for fabrication of nm-scale patterned graphene-based devices as well as for graphene functionalisation compatible with large scale integrated semiconductor technology. Using advanced electron microscopy/spectroscopy methods, we show for the first time directly that graphene can be doped with B and N via ion implantation and that the retention is in good agreement with predictions from calculation-based literature values. Atomic resolution high angle dark field imaging (HAADF) combined with single-atom electron energy loss (EEL) spectroscopy reveals that for sufficiently low implantation energies ions are predominantly substitutionally incorporated into the graphene lattice with a very small fraction residing in defect-related sites.
    Nano Letters 09/2013; · 13.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Observation of an unusual, negatively-charged antiphase boundary in (Bi0.85Nd0.15)(Ti0.1Fe0.9)O3 is reported. Aberration corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy is used to establish the full three dimensional structure of this boundary including O-ion positions to ∼±10 pm. The charged antiphase boundary stabilises tetragonally distorted regions with a strong polar ordering to either side of the boundary, with a characteristic length scale determined by the excess charge trapped at the boundary. Far away from the boundary the crystal relaxes into the well-known Nd-stabilised antiferroelectric phase.
    APL MATERIALS. 08/2013; 1(2).
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    ABSTRACT: Atomic-resolution structural and spectroscopic characterization techniques (scanning transmission electron microscopy and electron energy loss spectroscopy) are combined with nanoscale electrical measurements (conductive atomic force microscopy) to study at the atomic scale the properties of graphene grown epitaxially through the controlled graphitization of a hexagonal SiC(0001) substrate by high temperature annealing. This growth technique is known to result in a pronounced electron-doping (about 10^13 cm-2) of graphene, which is thought to originate from an interface carbon buffer layer strongly bound to the substrate. The scanning transmission electron microscopy analysis, carried out at an energy below the knock-on threshold for carbon to ensure no damage is imparted to the film by the electron beam, demonstrates that the buffer layer present on the planar SiC(0001) face delaminates from it on the (11-2n) facets of SiC surface steps. In addition, electron energy loss spectroscopy reveals that the delaminated layer has a similar electronic configuration to purely sp2-hybridized graphene. These observations are used to explain the local increase of the graphene sheet resistance measured around the surface steps by conductive atomic force microscopy, which we suggest is due to significantly lower substrate-induced doping and a resonant scattering mechanism at the step regions. A first-principles-calibrated theoretical model is proposed to explain the structural instability of the buffer layer on the SiC facets and the resulting delamination.
    ACS Nano 03/2013; · 12.03 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

362 Citations
455.99 Total Impact Points


  • 2011–2014
    • The University of Manchester
      • • School of Physics and Astronomy
      • • School of Materials
      Manchester, England, United Kingdom
    • Science and Technology Facilities Council
      Swindon, England, United Kingdom
    • University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
      • Department of Materials Science and Engineering
      Urbana, IL, United States
    • University of Leeds
      • Institute for Materials Research (IMR)
      Leeds, ENG, United Kingdom
  • 2012
    • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
      • Physical & Life Sciences Directorate
      Livermore, California, United States
  • 2010–2012
    • University of California, Berkeley
      • Department of Physics
      Berkeley, MO, United States
  • 2007–2012
    • University of California, Davis
      • • Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science
      • • Department of Chemistry
      Davis, CA, United States
  • 2006–2012
    • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
      • Materials Sciences Division
      Berkeley, California, United States
    • University of Cambridge
      • Department of Physics: Cavendish Laboratory
      Cambridge, ENG, United Kingdom