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Nat Commun. 2017 Jul 31;8(1):163. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-00150-1.

Electron ptychographic microscopy for three-dimensional imaging.

Author information

1
National Laboratory of Solid State Microstructures, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Collaborative Innovation Center of Advanced Microstructures and Center for the Microstructures of Quantum Materials, Nanjing University, Nanjing, 210093, People's Republic of China.
2
National Laboratory of Solid State Microstructures, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Collaborative Innovation Center of Advanced Microstructures and Center for the Microstructures of Quantum Materials, Nanjing University, Nanjing, 210093, People's Republic of China. wangpeng@nju.edu.cn.
3
Research Center for Environmental Nanotechnology, Nanjing University, Nanjing, 210093, People's Republic of China. wangpeng@nju.edu.cn.
4
Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen, 518055, People's Republic of China. zhangfc@sustc.edu.cn.
5
London Centre for Nanotechnology, London, WC1H 0AH, UK. zhangfc@sustc.edu.cn.
6
Research Complex at Harwell, Harwell Oxford Campus, Didcot, OX11 0FA, UK. zhangfc@sustc.edu.cn.
7
Department of Materials, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PH, UK.
8
Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of California, Irvine, CA, 92697, USA.
9
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Califnornia, Irvine, CA, 92697, USA.
10
Electron Physical Sciences Imaging Centre, Diamond Lightsource, Diamond House, Oxfordshire, Didcot, OX11 0DE, UK.

Abstract

Knowing the three-dimensional structural information of materials at the nanometer scale is essential to understanding complex material properties. Electron tomography retrieves three-dimensional structural information using a tilt series of two-dimensional images. In this paper, we report an alternative combination of electron ptychography with the inverse multislice method. We demonstrate depth sectioning of a nanostructured material into slices with 0.34 nm lateral resolution and with a corresponding depth resolution of about 24-30 nm. This three-dimensional imaging method has potential applications for the three-dimensional structure determination of a range of objects, ranging from inorganic nanostructures to biological macromolecules.Three-dimensional ptychographic imaging with electrons has remained a challenge because, unlike X-rays, electrons are easily scattered by atoms. Here, Gao et al. extend multi-slice methods to electrons in the multiple scattering regime, paving the way to nanometer-scale 3D structure determination with electrons.

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