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Microsc Microanal. 2004 Apr;10(2):185-98.

Spherical aberration correction in tandem with exit-plane wave function reconstruction: interlocking tools for the atomic scale imaging of lattice defects in GaAs.

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Ernst Ruska-Centrum für Mikroskopie und Spektroskopie mit Elektronen, Institut für Festkörperforschung, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, D-52425 Jülich, Germany.


With the availability of resolution boosting and delocalization minimizing techniques, for example, spherical aberration correction and exit-plane wave function reconstruction, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy is drawing to a breakthrough with respect to the atomic-scale imaging of common semiconductor materials. In the present study, we apply a combination of these two state-of-the-art techniques to investigate lattice defects in GaAs-based heterostructures at atomic resolution. Focusing on the direct imaging of stacking faults as well as the core structure of edge and partial dislocations, the practical capabilities of both techniques are illustrated. For the first time, we apply the technique of bright-atom contrast imaging at negative spherical aberration together with an appropriate overfocus setting for the investigation of lattice defects in a semiconductor material. For these purposes, the elastic displacements associated with lattice defects in GaAs viewed along the 110 zone axis are measured from experimental images using reciprocal space strain map algorithms. Moreover, we demonstrate the benefits of the retrieval of the exit-plane wave function not only for the elimination of residual imaging artefacts but also for the proper on-line alignment of specimens during operation of the electron microscope--a basic prerequisite to obtain a fair agreement between simulated images and experimental micrographs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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