Determination of the 3D shape of a nanoscale crystal with atomic resolution from a single image
by Chunlin Jia, Shaobo Mi, Juri Barthel, Dau W Wang, Rafal E Dunin-Borkowski, Knut W Urban, and Andreas G Thust
Although the overall atomic structure of a nanoscale crystal is in principle accessible by modern transmission electronmicroscopy, the precise determination of its surface structure is an intricate problem.
In the present study, researchers from the Ernst Ruska-Centre and the International Centre for Dielectric Research in Xi'an show that aberration-corrected transmission electron microscopy, combined with dedicated numerical evaluation procedures, allows the three-dimensional shape of a thin MgO crystal to be determined from only one single high-resolution image. The sensitivity of the reconstruction procedure is not only sufficient to reveal the surface morphology of the crystal with atomic resolution, but also to detect the presence of adsorbed impurity atoms. This single-image approach offers important advantages for three dimensional studies of radiation-sensitive crystals.
Chunlin Jia, Shaobo Mi, Juri Barthel, Dau W Wang, Rafal E Dunin-Borkowski, Knut W Urban, and Andreas G Thust: Determination of the 3D shape of a nanoscale crystal with atomic resolution from a single image, Nature Materials 13 (2014) 1044-1049.
Jülich Research Centre Press Release of 21 September 2014.