PerspectiveMaterials Science

Oxygen in Crystals--Seeing Is Believing

Science  07 Feb 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5608, pp. 839-841
DOI: 10.1126/science.1080951

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Atomic-level understanding of the properties of oxide materials has long been hampered by difficulties with imaging oxygen atoms. In his Perspective, Spence highlights the recent development of the aberration-corrected electron lens, which can increase the resolution of transmission electron microscopy to the level required for oxygen imaging. Jia et al . report the first images of oxygen columns and oxygen vacancies in two oxide materials. Given the ubiquity of oxides in natural and synthetic materials, the technique may find applications in many areas of science.