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Issue 25, 2017
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Three-dimensional atomic models from a single projection using Z-contrast imaging: verification by electron tomography and opportunities

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Abstract

In order to fully exploit structure–property relations of nanomaterials, three-dimensional (3D) characterization at the atomic scale is often required. In recent years, the resolution of electron tomography has reached the atomic scale. However, such tomography typically requires several projection images demanding substantial electron dose. A newly developed alternative circumvents this by counting the number of atoms across a single projection. These atom counts can be used to create an initial atomic model with which an energy minimization can be applied to obtain a relaxed 3D reconstruction of the nanoparticle. Here, we compare, at the atomic scale, this single projection reconstruction approach with tomography and find an excellent agreement. This new approach allows for the characterization of beam-sensitive materials or where the acquisition of a tilt series is impossible. As an example, the utility is illustrated by the 3D atomic scale characterization of a nanodumbbell on an in situ heating holder of limited tilt range.

Graphical abstract: Three-dimensional atomic models from a single projection using Z-contrast imaging: verification by electron tomography and opportunities

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
13 Apr 2017
Accepted
08 Jun 2017
First published
09 Jun 2017

Nanoscale, 2017,9, 8791-8798
Article type
Paper

Three-dimensional atomic models from a single projection using Z-contrast imaging: verification by electron tomography and opportunities

A. De Backer, L. Jones, I. Lobato, T. Altantzis, B. Goris, P. D. Nellist, S. Bals and S. Van Aert, Nanoscale, 2017, 9, 8791
DOI: 10.1039/C7NR02656K

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