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Microsc Microanal. 2012 Oct;18(5):982-94. doi: 10.1017/S1431927612001213. Epub 2012 Oct 22.

Atomic resolution phase contrast imaging and in-line holography using variable voltage and dose rate.

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  • 1Materials Science Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 1 Cyclotron Road, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.


The TEAM 0.5 electron microscope is employed to demonstrate atomic resolution phase contrast imaging and focal series reconstruction with acceleration voltages between 20 and 300 kV and a variable dose rate. A monochromator with an energy spread of ≤0.1 eV is used for dose variation by a factor of 1,000 and to provide a beam-limiting aperture. The sub-Ångstrøm performance of the instrument remains uncompromised. Using samples obtained from silicon wafers by chemical etching, the [200] atom dumbbell distance of 1.36 Å can be resolved in single images and reconstructed exit wave functions at 300, 80, and 50 kV. At 20 kV, atomic resolution <2 Å is readily available but limited by residual lens aberrations at large scattering angles. Exit wave functions reconstructed from images recorded under low dose rate conditions show sharper atom peaks as compared to high dose rate. The observed dose rate dependence of the signal is explained by a reduction of beam-induced atom displacements. If a combined sample and instrument instability is considered, the experimental image contrast can be matched quantitatively to simulations. The described development allows for atomic resolution transmission electron microscopy of interfaces between soft and hard materials over a wide range of voltages and electron doses.

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