skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Invited Review Article: Atom probe tomography

Abstract

The technique of atom probe tomography (APT) is reviewed with an emphasis on illustrating what is possible with the technique both now and in the future. APT delivers the highest spatial resolution (sub-0.3-nm) three-dimensional compositional information of any microscopy technique. Recently, APT has changed dramatically with new hardware configurations that greatly simplify the technique and improve the rate of data acquisition. In addition, new methods have been developed to fabricate suitable specimens from new classes of materials. Applications of APT have expanded from structural metals and alloys to thin multilayer films on planar substrates, dielectric films, semiconducting structures and devices, and ceramic materials. This trend toward a broader range of materials and applications is likely to continue.

Authors:
;  [1];  [2]
  1. Imago Scientific Instruments Corporation, 5500 Nobel Drive, Madison, Wisconsin 53711 (United States)
  2. (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
20953383
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Review of Scientific Instruments; Journal Volume: 78; Journal Issue: 3; Other Information: DOI: 10.1063/1.2709758; (c) 2007 American Institute of Physics; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; ALLOYS; ATOMS; CERAMICS; DATA ACQUISITION; DIELECTRIC MATERIALS; FILMS; ION MICROSCOPY; METALS; PROBES; REVIEWS; SPATIAL RESOLUTION; THREE-DIMENSIONAL CALCULATIONS

Citation Formats

Kelly, Thomas F., Miller, Michael K., and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, P.O. Box 2008, Building 4500S, Mississippi 6136, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831-6136. Invited Review Article: Atom probe tomography. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.1063/1.2709758.
Kelly, Thomas F., Miller, Michael K., & Oak Ridge National Laboratory, P.O. Box 2008, Building 4500S, Mississippi 6136, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831-6136. Invited Review Article: Atom probe tomography. United States. doi:10.1063/1.2709758.
Kelly, Thomas F., Miller, Michael K., and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, P.O. Box 2008, Building 4500S, Mississippi 6136, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831-6136. Thu . "Invited Review Article: Atom probe tomography". United States. doi:10.1063/1.2709758.
@article{osti_20953383,
title = {Invited Review Article: Atom probe tomography},
author = {Kelly, Thomas F. and Miller, Michael K. and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, P.O. Box 2008, Building 4500S, Mississippi 6136, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831-6136},
abstractNote = {The technique of atom probe tomography (APT) is reviewed with an emphasis on illustrating what is possible with the technique both now and in the future. APT delivers the highest spatial resolution (sub-0.3-nm) three-dimensional compositional information of any microscopy technique. Recently, APT has changed dramatically with new hardware configurations that greatly simplify the technique and improve the rate of data acquisition. In addition, new methods have been developed to fabricate suitable specimens from new classes of materials. Applications of APT have expanded from structural metals and alloys to thin multilayer films on planar substrates, dielectric films, semiconducting structures and devices, and ceramic materials. This trend toward a broader range of materials and applications is likely to continue.},
doi = {10.1063/1.2709758},
journal = {Review of Scientific Instruments},
number = 3,
volume = 78,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Mar 15 00:00:00 EDT 2007},
month = {Thu Mar 15 00:00:00 EDT 2007}
}
  • Three-dimensional atom probe analyses of the interfaces between CoFe and Cu layers has shown that both roughness and chemical intermixing can occur independently. Interfaces formed by the deposition of Cu onto CoFe mimic the roughness present in previously deposited interfaces, but have a very small amount of interfacial mixing. In contrast, interfaces formed by the deposition of CoFe onto Cu are less rough, but more chemically intermixed. The region of chemical intermixing formed when CoFe is deposited onto Cu (0.7{endash}1.0 nm) is approximately two times larger than that when Cu is deposited onto CoFe (0.3{endash}0.5 nm). {copyright} 2001 American Institutemore » of Physics.« less
  • Alnico alloys have long been used as strong permanent magnets because of their ferromagnetism and high coercivity. Understanding their structural details allows for better prediction of the resulting magnetic properties. However, quantitative three-dimensional characterization of the phase separation in these alloys is still challenged by the spatial quantification of nanoscale phases. Herein, we apply a dual tomography approach, where correlative scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopic (EDS) tomography and atom probe tomography (APT) are used to investigate the initial phase separation process of an alnico 8 alloy upon non-magnetic annealing. STEM-EDS tomography provides information on the morphology andmore » volume fractions of Fe–Co-rich and Νi–Al-rich phases after spinodal decomposition in addition to quantitative information of the composition of a nanoscale volume. Subsequent analysis of a portion of the same specimen by APT offers quantitative chemical information of each phase at the sub-nanometer scale. Furthermore, APT reveals small, 2–4 nm Fe-rich α 1 phases that are nucleated in the Ni-rich α 2 matrix. From this information, we show that phase separation of the alnico 8 alloy consists of both spinodal decomposition and nucleation and growth processes. Lastly, we discuss the complementary benefits and challenges associated with correlative STEM-EDS and APT.« less
  • Alnico alloys have long been used as strong permanent magnets because of their ferromagnetism and high coercivity. Understanding their structural details allows for better prediction of the resulting magnetic properties. However, quantitative three-dimensional characterization of the phase separation in these alloys is still challenged by the spatial quantification of nanoscale phases. Herein, we apply a dual tomography approach, where correlative scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopic (EDS) tomography and atom probe tomography (APT) are used to investigate the initial phase separation process of an alnico 8 alloy upon non-magnetic annealing. STEM-EDS tomography provides information on the morphology andmore » volume fractions of Fe–Co-rich and Νi–Al-rich phases after spinodal decomposition in addition to quantitative information of the composition of a nanoscale volume. Subsequent analysis of a portion of the same specimen by APT offers quantitative chemical information of each phase at the sub-nanometer scale. Furthermore, APT reveals small, 2–4 nm Fe-rich α 1 phases that are nucleated in the Ni-rich α 2 matrix. From this information, we show that phase separation of the alnico 8 alloy consists of both spinodal decomposition and nucleation and growth processes. Lastly, we discuss the complementary benefits and challenges associated with correlative STEM-EDS and APT.« less
  • Multiphoton microscopy has rapidly gained popularity in biomedical imaging and materials science because of its ability to provide three-dimensional images at high spatial and temporal resolution even in optically scattering environments. Currently the majority of commercial and home-built devices are based on two-photon fluorescence and harmonic generation contrast. These two contrast mechanisms are relatively easy to measure but can access only a limited range of endogenous targets. Recent developments in fast laser pulse generation, pulse shaping, and detection technology have made accessible a wide range of optical contrasts that utilize multiple pulses of different colors. Molecular excitation with multiple pulsesmore » offers a large number of adjustable parameters. For example, in two-pulse pump-probe microscopy, one can vary the wavelength of each excitation pulse, the detection wavelength, the timing between the excitation pulses, and the detection gating window after excitation. Such a large parameter space can provide much greater molecular specificity than existing single-color techniques and allow for structural and functional imaging without the need for exogenous dyes and labels, which might interfere with the system under study. In this review, we provide a tutorial overview, covering principles of pump-probe microscopy and experimental setup, challenges associated with signal detection and data processing, and an overview of applications.« less