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Nat Commun. 2014 Jun 11;5:4155. doi: 10.1038/ncomms5155.

Picometre-precision analysis of scanning transmission electron microscopy images of platinum nanocatalysts.

Author information

1
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin 53706, USA.
2
1] Interdisciplinary Mathematics Institute, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina 29208, USA [2] Aachen Institute for Advanced Study in Computational Engineering Science (AICES), RWTH Aachen, Schinkelstrasse 2, Aachen 52062, Germany.
3
1] Interdisciplinary Mathematics Institute, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina 29208, USA [2] Institut für Geometrie und Praktische Mathematik, RWTH Aachen, Templergraben 55, Aachen 52056, Germany.
4
Interdisciplinary Mathematics Institute, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina 29208, USA.
5
UOP LLC a Honeywell Company, Des Plaines, Illinois 60017, USA.

Abstract

Measuring picometre-scale shifts in the positions of individual atoms in materials provides new insight into the structure of surfaces, defects and interfaces that influence a broad variety of materials' behaviour. Here we demonstrate sub-picometre precision measurements of atom positions in aberration-corrected Z-contrast scanning transmission electron microscopy images based on the non-rigid registration and averaging of an image series. Non-rigid registration achieves five to seven times better precision than previous methods. Non-rigidly registered images of a silica-supported platinum nanocatalyst show pm-scale contraction of atoms at a (111)/(111) corner towards the particle centre and expansion of a flat (111) facet. Sub-picometre precision and standardless atom counting with <1 atom uncertainty in the same scanning transmission electron microscopy image provide new insight into the three-dimensional atomic structure of catalyst nanoparticle surfaces, which contain the active sites controlling catalytic reactions.

PMID:
24916914
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms5155

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