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Title: Studies of x-ray localization and thickness dependence in atomic-scale elemental mapping by STEM energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy using single-frame scanning method

The delocalization of x-ray signals limits the spatial resolution in atomic-scale elemental mapping by scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) using energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS). In this study, using a SrTiO 3 [001] single crystal, we show that the x-ray localization to atomic columns is strongly dependent on crystal thickness, and a thin crystal is critical for improving the spatial resolution in atomic-scale EDS mapping. A single-frame scanning technique is used in this study instead of the multiple-frame technique to avoid peak broadening due to tracking error. The strong thickness dependence is realized by measuring the full width at half maxima (FWHM) as well as the peak-to-valley (P/V) ratio of the EDS profiles for Ti K and Sr K+L, obtained at several crystal thicknesses. A FWHM of about 0.16 nm and a P/V ratio of greater than 7.0 are obtained for Ti K for a crystal thickness of less than 20 nm. In conclusion, with increasing crystal thickness, the FWHM and P/V ratio increases and decreases, respectively, indicating the advantage of using a thin crystal for high-resolution EDS mapping.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ; ORCiD logo [2]
  1. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
  2. Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL (United States). Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0304-3991; 656319
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 186; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0304-3991
Research Org:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 42 ENGINEERING; Atomic-scale EDS; STEM; X-ray localization; Thickness dependence; Single-frame scanning method
OSTI Identifier: