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Electron Ptychographic Diffractive Imaging of Boron Atoms in LaB6 Crystals

DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-02778-x DOI Help

Authors: Peng Wang (Nanjing University) , Fucai Zhang (Southern University of Science and Technology; London Centre for Nanotechnology; Research Complex at Harwell) , Si Gao (Nanjing University) , Mian Zhang (Nanjing University) , Angus I. Kirkland (Research Complex at Harwell; University of Oxford; Diamond Light Source)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Scientific Reports , VOL 7

State: Published (Approved)
Published: June 2017

Open Access Open Access

Abstract: Ptychographic diffractive imaging has the potential for structural determination of materials without the constraints of relatively small, isolated samples required for conventional coherent diffractive imaging. The increased illumination diversity introduced using multiple measurements (overlapped probe positions) also provides higher sensitivity to phase changes in weakly scattering samples. The resolution of a ptychographic reconstruction is ultimately determined by the diffraction limit for the wavelength of the radiation used. However, in practical experiments using electrons either the maximum collection angle of the detector used to record the data or the partial coherence of the source impose lower resolution limits. Nonetheless for medium energy electrons this suggests a potential sub 0.1 nm spatial resolution limit, comparable to that obtained using aberration corrected instruments. However, simultaneous visualization of light and heavier atoms in specimens using ptychography at sub 0.1 nm resolution presents a significant challenge. Here, we demonstrate a ptychographic reconstruction of a LaB6 crystal in which light B atoms were clearly resolved together with the heavy La atoms in the reconstructed phase. The technique used is general and can also be applied to non-crystalline and extended crystalline samples. As such it offers an alternative future basis for imaging the atomic structure of materials, particularly those containing low atomic number elements.

Journal Keywords: Characterization and analytical techniques; Transmission electron microscopy

Subject Areas: Physics, Technique Development

Technical Areas: