Stromataxy – Enabling the (otherwise) Unreachable

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The properties of any material are largely governed by its constituting elements and the arrangement of those atoms. Different structures can result in vastly different behavior, even for the same chemical composition. Thus, to achieve a desired structure—the one with the desired properties—it is vital to be able to navigate synthesis pathways.:Here, users from the Naval Research Lab wanted to grow ScFeO3, where five different ways are known in which the same atoms can be arranged. In the past, different substrates have been used to select between the various polymorphs by altering the energetics of materials growth through a process known as epitaxial stabilization.

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