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Ultramicroscopy. 2009 May;109(6):730-40. doi: 10.1016/j.ultramic.2009.01.009. Epub 2009 Jan 31.

3D imaging of nanomaterials by discrete tomography.

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Vision Lab, University of Antwerp (CDE), Universiteitsplein 1, B-2610 Wilrijk, Belgium.


The field of discrete tomography focuses on the reconstruction of samples that consist of only a few different materials. Ideally, a three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction of such a sample should contain only one grey level for each of the compositions in the sample. By exploiting this property in the reconstruction algorithm, either the quality of the reconstruction can be improved significantly, or the number of required projection images can be reduced. The discrete reconstruction typically contains fewer artifacts and does not have to be segmented, as it already contains one grey level for each composition. Recently, a new algorithm, called discrete algebraic reconstruction technique (DART), has been proposed that can be used effectively on experimental electron tomography datasets. In this paper, we propose discrete tomography as a general reconstruction method for electron tomography in materials science. We describe the basic principles of DART and show that it can be applied successfully to three different types of samples, consisting of embedded ErSi(2) nanocrystals, a carbon nanotube grown from a catalyst particle and a single gold nanoparticle, respectively.

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