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Ultramicroscopy. 2011 Jul;111(8):1077-82. doi: 10.1016/j.ultramic.2011.03.013. Epub 2011 Apr 1.

MEGACELL: a nanocrystal model construction software for HRTEM multislice simulation.

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Brazilian Synchrotron Light Laboratory, 13083-970 Campinas, SP, Brazil.


Image simulation has an invaluable importance for the accurate analysis of High Resolution Transmission Electron Microscope (HRTEM) results, especially due to its non-linear image formation mechanism. Because the as-obtained images cannot be interpreted in a straightforward fashion, the retrieval of both qualitative and quantitative information from HRTEM micrographs requires an iterative process including the simulation of a nanocrystal model and its comparison with experimental images. However most of the available image simulation software requires atom-by-atom coordinates as input for the calculations, which can be prohibitive for large finite crystals and/or low-symmetry systems and zone axis orientations. This paper presents an open source citation-ware tool named MEGACELL, which was developed to assist on the construction of nanocrystals models. It allows the user to build nanocrystals with virtually any convex polyhedral geometry and to retrieve its atomic positions either as a plain text file or as an output compatible with EMS (Electron Microscopy Software) input protocol. In addition to the description of this tool features, some construction examples and its application for scientific studies are presented. These studies show MEGACELL as a handy tool, which allows an easier construction of complex nanocrystal models and improves the quantitative information extraction from HRTEM images.

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