Direct observation of a single electron’s butterfly-shaped distribution in titanium oxide

A research team led by Nagoya University has observed the smeared-out spatial distribution of a single valence electron at the centre of a titanium oxide molecule, using synchrotron X-ray diffraction and a new Fourier synthesis method also developed by the team. The method can determine the orbital states in materials regardless of their physical properties and without the need for difficult experiments or analytical techniques. The work was published recently in Physical Review Research.