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Title: Measurement Error in Atomic-Scale Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy—Energy-Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (STEM-EDS) Mapping of a Model Oxide Interface

Abstract

Abstract With the development of affordable aberration correctors, analytical scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) studies of complex interfaces can now be conducted at high spatial resolution at laboratories worldwide. Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) in particular has grown in popularity, as it enables elemental mapping over a wide range of ionization energies. However, the interpretation of atomically resolved data is greatly complicated by beam–sample interactions that are often overlooked by novice users. Here we describe the practical factors—namely, sample thickness and the choice of ionization edge—that affect the quantification of a model perovskite oxide interface. Our measurements of the same sample, in regions of different thickness, indicate that interface profiles can vary by as much as 2–5 unit cells, depending on the spectral feature. This finding is supported by multislice simulations, which reveal that on-axis maps of even perfectly abrupt interfaces exhibit significant delocalization. Quantification of thicker samples is further complicated by channeling to heavier sites across the interface, as well as an increased signal background. We show that extreme care must be taken to prepare samples to minimize channeling effects and argue that it may not be possible to extract atomically resolved information from many chemical maps.

Authors:
ORCiD logo; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1361980
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-119131
Journal ID: ISSN 1431-9276; KC0203020
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Microscopy and Microanalysis; Journal Volume: 23; Journal Issue: 03
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; stem; eds; multislice; oxides; thin films

Citation Formats

Spurgeon, Steven R., Du, Yingge, and Chambers, Scott A.. Measurement Error in Atomic-Scale Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy—Energy-Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (STEM-EDS) Mapping of a Model Oxide Interface. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1017/S1431927617000368.
Spurgeon, Steven R., Du, Yingge, & Chambers, Scott A.. Measurement Error in Atomic-Scale Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy—Energy-Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (STEM-EDS) Mapping of a Model Oxide Interface. United States. doi:10.1017/S1431927617000368.
Spurgeon, Steven R., Du, Yingge, and Chambers, Scott A.. Wed . "Measurement Error in Atomic-Scale Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy—Energy-Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (STEM-EDS) Mapping of a Model Oxide Interface". United States. doi:10.1017/S1431927617000368.
@article{osti_1361980,
title = {Measurement Error in Atomic-Scale Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy—Energy-Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (STEM-EDS) Mapping of a Model Oxide Interface},
author = {Spurgeon, Steven R. and Du, Yingge and Chambers, Scott A.},
abstractNote = {Abstract With the development of affordable aberration correctors, analytical scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) studies of complex interfaces can now be conducted at high spatial resolution at laboratories worldwide. Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) in particular has grown in popularity, as it enables elemental mapping over a wide range of ionization energies. However, the interpretation of atomically resolved data is greatly complicated by beam–sample interactions that are often overlooked by novice users. Here we describe the practical factors—namely, sample thickness and the choice of ionization edge—that affect the quantification of a model perovskite oxide interface. Our measurements of the same sample, in regions of different thickness, indicate that interface profiles can vary by as much as 2–5 unit cells, depending on the spectral feature. This finding is supported by multislice simulations, which reveal that on-axis maps of even perfectly abrupt interfaces exhibit significant delocalization. Quantification of thicker samples is further complicated by channeling to heavier sites across the interface, as well as an increased signal background. We show that extreme care must be taken to prepare samples to minimize channeling effects and argue that it may not be possible to extract atomically resolved information from many chemical maps.},
doi = {10.1017/S1431927617000368},
journal = {Microscopy and Microanalysis},
number = 03,
volume = 23,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Apr 05 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Wed Apr 05 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}