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Title: Structural Studies of Amorphous Materials by Fluctuation Electron Microscopy

Abstract

Fluctuation Electron Microscopy (FEM) is a technique that examines the fluctuations in electron scattering across a uniformly thin amorphous sample. The statistics of the intensity fluctuations, mean and variance, reveal any underlying medium-range order present in the structure. The goals of this project were: (1) To determine the fundamentals of the scattering physics that gives rise to the variance signal in fluctuation electron microscopy (FEM); (2) To use these discoveries to find ways to quantify FEM; (3) To apply the FEM method to interesting and technologically important families of amorphous materials, particularly those with important applications in energy-related processes. Excellent progress was made in items (1) and (2). In stage (3) we did not examine the metamict zircons, as proposed. Instead, we examined films of polycrystalline and amorphous semi-conducting diamond. Significant accomplishments are: (1) A Reverse Monte Carlo procedure was successfully implemented to invert FEM data into a structural model. This is computer-intensive, but it demonstrated that diffraction and FEM data from amorphous silicon are most consistent with a paracrystallite model. This means that there is more diamond-like topology present in amorphous silicon than is predicted by the continuous random network model. (2) There is significant displacement decoherence arising in diffraction from amorphous silicon and carbon. The samples are being bombarded by the electron beam and atoms do not stay still while being irradiated – much more than was formerly understood. The atom motions cause the destructive and constructive interferences in the diffraction pattern to fluctuate with time, and it is the time-averaged speckle that is being measured. The variance is reduced by a factor m, 4 ≤ m ≤ 1000, relative to that predicted by kinematical scattering theory. (3) Speckle intensity obeys a gamma distribution, where the mean intensity $$ \overline{I}\ $$ and m are the two parameters governing the shape of the gamma distribution profile. m is determined by the illumination spatial coherence, which is normally very high, and mostly by the displacement decoherence within the sample. (4) Amorphous materials are more affected by the electron beam than are crystalline materials. Different samples exhibit different disruptibility, as measured by the effective values of m that fit the data. (5) Understanding the origin of the displacement decoherence better should lead to efficient methods for computing the observed variance from amorphous materials.

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Arizona State Univ., Tempe, AZ (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Arizona State Univ., Tempe, AZ (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22). Materials Sciences & Engineering Division
Contributing Org.:
University of Oxford, Argonne National Laboratory
OSTI Identifier:
1440910
Report Number(s):
DOE-ASU-4929
DOE Contract Number:  
SC0004929
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Related Information: None
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; Fluctuation Electron Microscopy; FEM; amorphous silicon; amorphous carbon; decoherence; displacement decoherence

Citation Formats

Treacy, Michael M. J. Structural Studies of Amorphous Materials by Fluctuation Electron Microscopy. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.2172/1440910.
Treacy, Michael M. J. Structural Studies of Amorphous Materials by Fluctuation Electron Microscopy. United States. doi:10.2172/1440910.
Treacy, Michael M. J. Thu . "Structural Studies of Amorphous Materials by Fluctuation Electron Microscopy". United States. doi:10.2172/1440910. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1440910.
@article{osti_1440910,
title = {Structural Studies of Amorphous Materials by Fluctuation Electron Microscopy},
author = {Treacy, Michael M. J.},
abstractNote = {Fluctuation Electron Microscopy (FEM) is a technique that examines the fluctuations in electron scattering across a uniformly thin amorphous sample. The statistics of the intensity fluctuations, mean and variance, reveal any underlying medium-range order present in the structure. The goals of this project were: (1) To determine the fundamentals of the scattering physics that gives rise to the variance signal in fluctuation electron microscopy (FEM); (2) To use these discoveries to find ways to quantify FEM; (3) To apply the FEM method to interesting and technologically important families of amorphous materials, particularly those with important applications in energy-related processes. Excellent progress was made in items (1) and (2). In stage (3) we did not examine the metamict zircons, as proposed. Instead, we examined films of polycrystalline and amorphous semi-conducting diamond. Significant accomplishments are: (1) A Reverse Monte Carlo procedure was successfully implemented to invert FEM data into a structural model. This is computer-intensive, but it demonstrated that diffraction and FEM data from amorphous silicon are most consistent with a paracrystallite model. This means that there is more diamond-like topology present in amorphous silicon than is predicted by the continuous random network model. (2) There is significant displacement decoherence arising in diffraction from amorphous silicon and carbon. The samples are being bombarded by the electron beam and atoms do not stay still while being irradiated – much more than was formerly understood. The atom motions cause the destructive and constructive interferences in the diffraction pattern to fluctuate with time, and it is the time-averaged speckle that is being measured. The variance is reduced by a factor m, 4 ≤ m ≤ 1000, relative to that predicted by kinematical scattering theory. (3) Speckle intensity obeys a gamma distribution, where the mean intensity $ \overline{I}\ $ and m are the two parameters governing the shape of the gamma distribution profile. m is determined by the illumination spatial coherence, which is normally very high, and mostly by the displacement decoherence within the sample. (4) Amorphous materials are more affected by the electron beam than are crystalline materials. Different samples exhibit different disruptibility, as measured by the effective values of m that fit the data. (5) Understanding the origin of the displacement decoherence better should lead to efficient methods for computing the observed variance from amorphous materials.},
doi = {10.2172/1440910},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Jun 07 00:00:00 EDT 2018},
month = {Thu Jun 07 00:00:00 EDT 2018}
}

Technical Report:

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