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Ultramicroscopy. 2014 Mar;138:28-35. doi: 10.1016/j.ultramic.2013.12.004. Epub 2013 Dec 31.

Revolving scanning transmission electron microscopy: correcting sample drift distortion without prior knowledge.

Author information

1
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7907, USA. Electronic address: xhsang@gmail.com.
2
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7907, USA. Electronic address: jmlebeau@ncsu.edu.

Abstract

We report the development of revolving scanning transmission electron microscopy--RevSTEM--a technique that enables characterization and removal of sample drift distortion from atomic resolution images without the need for a priori crystal structure information. To measure and correct the distortion, we acquire an image series while rotating the scan coordinate system between successive frames. Through theory and experiment, we show that the revolving image series captures the information necessary to analyze sample drift rate and direction. At atomic resolution, we quantify the image distortion using the projective standard deviation, a rapid, real-space method to directly measure lattice vector angles. By fitting these angles to a physical model, we show that the refined drift parameters provide the input needed to correct distortion across the series. We demonstrate that RevSTEM simultaneously removes the need for a priori structure information to correct distortion, leads to a dramatically improved signal-to-noise ratio, and enables picometer precision and accuracy regardless of drift rate.

KEYWORDS:

Drift correction; Image distortion; Projective standard deviation (PSD); Revolving STEM (RevSTEM); Scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM); Signal to noise ratio

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