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Rev Sci Instrum. 2007 Mar;78(3):031101.

Invited review article: Atom probe tomography.

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  • 1Imago Scientific Instruments Corporation, 5500 Nobel Drive, Madison, WI 53711, USA.


The technique of atom probe tomography (APT) is reviewed with an emphasis on illustrating what is possible with the technique both now and in the future. APT delivers the highest spatial resolution (sub-0.3-nm) three-dimensional compositional information of any microscopy technique. Recently, APT has changed dramatically with new hardware configurations that greatly simplify the technique and improve the rate of data acquisition. In addition, new methods have been developed to fabricate suitable specimens from new classes of materials. Applications of APT have expanded from structural metals and alloys to thin multilayer films on planar substrates, dielectric films, semiconducting structures and devices, and ceramic materials. This trend toward a broader range of materials and applications is likely to continue.

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