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Science. 2008 Feb 22;319(5866):1073-6. doi: 10.1126/science.1148820.

Atomic-scale chemical imaging of composition and bonding by aberration-corrected microscopy.

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  • 1Applied and Engineering Physics, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.


Using a fifth-order aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscope, which provides a factor of 100 increase in signal over an uncorrected instrument, we demonstrated two-dimensional elemental and valence-sensitive imaging at atomic resolution by means of electron energy-loss spectroscopy, with acquisition times of well under a minute (for a 4096-pixel image). Applying this method to the study of a La(0.7)Sr(0.3)MnO3/SrTiO3 multilayer, we found an asymmetry between the chemical intermixing on the manganese-titanium and lanthanum-strontium sublattices. The measured changes in the titanium bonding as the local environment changed allowed us to distinguish chemical interdiffusion from imaging artifacts.

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