Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

A New Approach to the Determination of Concentration Profiles in Atom Probe Tomography

  • Peter J. Felfer (a1), Baptiste Gault (a1), Gang Sha (a1), Leigh Stephenson (a1), Simon P. Ringer (a1) and Julie M. Cairney (a1)...

Atom probe tomography (APT) provides three-dimensional analytical imaging of materials with near-atomic resolution using pulsed field evaporation. The processes of field evaporation can cause atoms to be placed at positions in the APT reconstruction that can deviate slightly from their original site in the material. Here, we describe and model one such process—that of preferential retention of solute atoms in multicomponent systems. Based on relative field evaporation probabilities, we calculate the point spread function for the solute atom distribution in the “z,” or in-depth direction, and use this to extract more accurate solute concentration profiles.

Corresponding author
Corresponding author. E-mail:
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

T. Alkassab , A. Menand , S. Chambreland & P. Haasen (1992). The early stages of decomposition of Al-Li alloys. Surf Sci 266(1-3), 333336.

G. Antczak & G. Ehrlich (2007). Jump processes in surface diffusion. Surf Sci Rep 62(2), 3961.

D.W. Bassett & P.R. Webber (1978). Diffusion of single adatoms of Pt, Ir and Au on Pt surfaces. Surf Sci 70(1), 520531.

D. Blavette , P. Duval , L. Letellier & M. Guttmann (1996). Atomic-scale APFIM and TEM investigation of grain boundary microchemistry in astroloy nickel base superalloys. Acta Mater 44(12), 49955005.

D.G. Brandon (1965). The analysis of field evaporation data from field-ion microscope experiments. British J Appl Phys 16(5), 683688.

D.G. Brandon (1966). The field evaporation of dilute alloys. Surf Sci 5(1), 137146.

Y.C. Chen & D.N. Seidman (1971). The field ionization characteristics of individual atomic planes. Surf Sci 27(2), 231255.

F. De Geuser , B. Gault , A. Bostel & F. Vurpillot (2007). Correlated field evaporation as seen by atom probe tomography. Surf Sci 601(2), 536543.

P.J. Felfer , S.P. Ringer & J.M. Cairney (2011). Shaping the lens of the atom probe: Fabrication of site specific, oriented specimens and application to grain boundary analysis. Ultramicroscopy 111(6), 435439.

B. Gault , D. Haley , F. de Geuser , M.P. Moody , E.A. Marquis , D.J. Larson & B.P. Geiser (2011). Advances in reconstruction of atom probe tomography data. Ultramicroscopy 111(6), 448457.

B. Gault , M.P. Moody , F. De Geuser , G. Tsafnat , A. La Fontaine , L.T. Stephenson , D. Haley & S.P. Ringer (2009). Advances in the calibration of atom probe tomographic reconstruction. J Appl Phys 105, 034913.

E. Grushka (1972). Characterization of exponentially modified Gaussian peaks in chromatography. Anal Chem 44(11), 17331738.

H. Jiang & R.G. Faulkner (1996). Modelling of grain boundary segregation, precipitation and precipitate-free zones of high strength aluminium alloys—I. The model. Acta Mater 44(5), 18571864.

G.L. Kellogg (1984). Measurement of activation energies for field evaporation of tungsten ions as a function of electric field. Phys Rev B 29(8), 43044312.

G.L. Kellogg , T.T. Tsong & P. Cowan (1978). Direct observation of surface-diffusion and atomic interactions on metal-surfaces. Surf Sci 70(1), 485519.

G.L. Kellogg , A.F. Wright & M.S. Daw (1991). Surface diffusion and adatom-induced substrate relaxations of Pt, Pd and Ni atoms on Pt(001). J Vac Sci Technol 9(3), 17571760.

T.F. Kelly & M.K. Miller (2007). Atom probe tomography. Rev Sci Instrum 78(3), 031101.

D.R. Kingham (1982). A new view of field evaporation. Vacuum 32(8), 471476.

D.J. Larson , A.K. Petford-Long , Y.Q. Ma & A. Cerezo (2004). Information storage materials: Nanoscale characterisation by three-dimensional atom probe analysis. Acta Mater 52(10), 28472862.

S. Lozano-Perez , D.W. Saxey , T. Yamada & T. Terachi (2010). Atom-probe tomography characterization of the oxidation of stainless steel. Scripta Mater 62(11), 855858.

E.A. Marquis & B. Gault (2008). Determination of the tip temperature in laser assisted atom-probe tomography using charge state distributions. J Appl Phys 104(8), 084914.

N. Maruyama , G.D.W. Smith & A. Cerezo (2003). Interaction of the solute niobium or molybdenum with grain boundaries in alpha-iron. Mater Sci Eng A 353(1-2), 126132.

M.P. Moody , B. Gault , L.T. Stephenson , D. Haley & S.P. Ringer (2009). Qualification of the tomographic reconstruction in atom probe by advanced spatial distribution map techniques. Ultramicroscopy 109, 815824.

E.W. Mueller (1956). Field desorption. Phys Rev 102(3), 618624.

M. Ngamo , S. Duguay , P. Pichler , K. Daoud & P. Pareige (2010). Characterization of arsenic segregation at Si/SiO2 interface by 3D atom probe tomography. Thin Solid Films 518(9), 24022405.

E.V. Pereloma , K.F. Russell , M.K. Miller & I.B. Timokhina (2008). Effect of pre-straining and bake hardening on the microstructure of thermomechanically processed CMnSi TRIP steels with and without Nb and Mo additions. Scripta Mater 58(12), 10781081.

W.H. Richardson (1972). Bayesian-based iterative method of image restoration. J Opt Soc Am 62(1), 5559.

M.P. Seah & E.D. Hondros (1973). Grain-boundary segregation. Proc R Soc London A 335(1601), 191212.

D.N. Seidman , B.W. Krakauer & D. Udler (1994). Atomic scale studies of solute-atom segregation at grain boundaries: Experiments and simulations. J Phys Chem Solids 55(10), 10351057.

G. Sha , S.P. Ringer , Z.C. Duan & T.G. Langdon (2009). An atom probe characterisation of grain boundaries in an aluminium alloy processed by equal-channel angular pressing. Int J Mater Res 100(12), 16741678.

Y. Suchorski , W.A. Schmidt , J.H. Block & H.J. Kreuzer (1994). Comparative studies on field ionization at surface sites of Rh, Ag and Au-differences in local electric field enhancement. Vacuum 45(2-3), 259262.

Y. Suchorski , W.A. Schmidt , N. Ernst , J.H. Block & H.J. Kreuzer (1995). Electrostatic fields above individual atoms. Prog Surf Sci 48(1-4), 121134.

A. Tamion , E. Cadel , C. Bordel & D. Blavette (2007). 3D atom probe investigation of (Fe/Dy) magnetic multilayers. Surf Interf Anal 39(2-3), 237239.

F. Tang , B. Gault , S.P. Ringer & J.M. Cairney (2010). Optimisation of laser atom probe for the analysis of nanocomposite films. Ultramicroscopy 110(7), 836843.

O. Thuillier , F. Danoix , M. Gounè & D. Blavette (2006). Atom probe tomography of the austenite-ferrite interphase boundary composition in a model alloy Fe-C-Mn. Scripta Mater 55(11), 10711074.

T.T. Tsong (1972). Direct observation of interactions between individual atoms on tungsten surfaces. Phys Rev B 6(2), 417426.

T.T. Tsong (1978). Field-ion image-formation. Surf Sci 70(1), 211233.

T.T. Tsong & G. Kellogg (1975). Direct observation of directional walk of single adatoms and adatom polarizability. Phys Rev B 12(4), 13431353.

F. Vurpillot , J. Houard , A. Vella & B. Deconihout (2009). Thermal response of a field emitter subjected to ultra-fast laser illumination. J Phys D 42(12), 125502.

M. Wada (1984). On the thermally activated field evaporation of surface atoms. Surf Sci 145(2-3), 451465.

J. Weidow & H.-O. Andren (2010). Grain and phase boundary segregation in WC-Co with small V, Cr or Mn additions. Acta Mater 58(11), 38883894.

J.D. Wrigley & G. Ehrlich (1980). Surface diffusion by an atomic exchange mechanism. Phys Rev Lett 44(10), 661663.

L. Yao , B. Gault , J.M. Cairney & S.P. Ringer (2010). On the multiplicity of field evaporation events in atom probe: A new dimension to the analysis of mass spectra. Philos Mag Lett 90(2), 121129.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Microscopy and Microanalysis
  • ISSN: 1431-9276
  • EISSN: 1435-8115
  • URL: /core/journals/microscopy-and-microanalysis
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 3
Total number of PDF views: 19 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 108 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 30th March 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.