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Keywords:

  • amorphous materials;
  • defect migration;
  • electron spin resonance;
  • oxides;
  • point defects

Amorphous oxides are key ingredients in electronic and optical devices. Such oxides include a variety of point defects that greatly affect their electrical and optical properties. Many of these defects are paramagnetic, and as such, the best tool to identify and characterize their structure is electron spin resonance (ESR). However, due to its limited sensitivity and spatial resolution, ESR cannot provide information about the defects' migration properties, which are of crucial importance for device fabrication. Ultra-high-resolution imaging modalities such as TEM, as well as theoretical calculations, are severely limited in amorphous media, resulting in a wide gap of knowledge in this field. Here, a novel method of ESR microimaging is applied for the first time to examine unique samples that are prepared using electron-beam irradiation and have well-defined point defects patterns. This provides a capability to unambiguously identify the defects and at the same time track their migration with high spatial resolution, revealing new information about their properties.