Charging ain't all bad: Complex physics in DyScO3

Christopher A. Mizzi, Pratik Koirala, Ahmet Gulec, Laurence D. Marks*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Although charging is ubiquitous in electron microscopy, its effects are typically avoided or ignored. However, avoiding charging is not possible in some materials, e.g. lanthanide scandates with well-ordered surfaces positively charge immensely under electron beam illumination because of their electronic structure, and ignoring charging can leave new science undiscovered. In this work, a combination of rapidly acquired electron energy loss spectra and cross-correlation were used to understand and overcome charging effects in DyScO3. A 5.4 eV band gap was extracted from the charging-corrected loss spectrum, in good agreement with previously reported band gaps, and a 3.8 eV in-gap peak was attributed to surface states via comparison with density functional theory calculations. Additionally, ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy measurements indicated that under some conditions well-annealed DyScO3 surfaces charge negatively causing upward band bending associated with occupied surface states in the gap. As was previously found in the case of positive charging under electron beam illumination with in-situ flexoelectric bending observations, the magnitude of negative charging under ultraviolet illumination is Zener tunneling limited in well-annealed DyScO3.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-124
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Aug 2019


  • Charging
  • DFT
  • EELS
  • Flexoelectricity
  • Surface states
  • UPS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Instrumentation
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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