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Spectroscopic imaging in electron microscopy

  • Stephen J. Pennycook (a1) and Christian Colliex (a2)


In the scanning transmission electron microscope, multiple signals can be simultaneously collected, including the transmitted and scattered electron signals (bright field and annular dark field or Z-contrast images), along with spectroscopic signals such as inelastically scattered electrons and emitted photons. In the last few years, the successful development of aberration correctors for the electron microscope has transformed the field of electron microscopy, opening up new possibilities for correlating structure to functionality. Aberration correction not only allows for enhanced structural resolution with incident probes into the sub-Ångstrom range, but can also provide greater probe currents to facilitate mapping of intrinsically weak spectroscopic signals at the nanoscale or even the atomic level. In this issue of MRS Bulletin, we illustrate the power of the new generation of electron microscopes with a combination of imaging and spectroscopy. We show the mapping of elemental distributions at atomic resolution and also the mapping of electronic and optical properties at unprecedented spatial resolution, with applications ranging from graphene to plasmonic nanostructures, and oxide interfaces to biology.

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MRS Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0883-7694
  • EISSN: 1938-1425
  • URL: /core/journals/mrs-bulletin
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