Plastic deformation is the permanent distortion that occurs when a material is subjected to stresses that exceed the material’s yield strength. While plastic deformation has been used by blacksmiths and engineers for thousands of years, its effects on the electronic properties of quantum materials have been largely unexplored. In this talk, I will review our recent [1,2] and ongoing efforts to understand the effects of compressive plastic deformation in complex oxides. I will primarily focus on SrTiO3, for which we have uncovered enhanced, low-dimensional superconductivity and ferroelectric quantum criticality correlated with the appearance of self-organized dislocation structures, as revealed by diffuse neutron and X-ray scattering [2,3]. These results demonstrate the potential of plastic deformation and dislocation engineering for the manipulation of electronic properties of quantum materials.
Work funded by the US Department of Energy through the University of Minnesota Center for Quantum Materials, under grant number DE-SC-0016371.
 D. Pelc et al., Nat. Commun. 10, 2729 (2019); https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-10635-w
 S. Hameed, D. Pelc et al., Nat. Mater. 21, 54 (2022); https://www.nature.com/articles/s41563-021-01102-3
 See also: M. Li and Y. Wang., Nat. Mater. 21, 3 (2022); https://doi.org/10.1038/s41563-021-01146-5
Keywords: quantum materials, plastic deformation, superconductivity, ferroelectricity