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J Electron Microsc (Tokyo). 2005 Jun;54(3):251-78. Epub 2005 Aug 25.

Scanning transmission electron microscopy and its application to the study of nanoparticles and nanoparticle systems.

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  • Monsanto Company, U1E, 800 North Lindbergh Boulevard, St Louis, MO 63167, USA. jingyue.liu@monsanto.com


Scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) techniques can provide imaging, diffraction and spectroscopic information, either simultaneously or in a serial manner, of the specimen with an atomic or a sub-nanometer spatial resolution. High-resolution STEM imaging, when combined with nanodiffraction, atomic resolution electron energy-loss spectroscopy and nanometer resolution X-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy techniques, is critical to the fundamental studies of importance to nanoscience and nanotechnology. The availability of sub-nanometer or sub-angstrom electron probes in a STEM instrument, due to the use of a field emission gun and aberration correctors, ensures the greatest capabilities for studies of sizes, shapes, defects, crystal and surface structures, and compositions and electronic states of nanometer-size regions of thin films, nanoparticles and nanoparticle systems. The various imaging, diffraction and spectroscopy modes available in a dedicated STEM or a field emission TEM/STEM instrument are reviewed and the application of these techniques to the study of nanoparticles and nanostructured catalysts is used as an example to illustrate the critical role of the various STEM techniques in nanotechnology and nanoscience research.

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