Direct Sub-Angstrom Imaging of a Crystal Lattice

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Science  17 Sep 2004:
Vol. 305, Issue 5691, pp. 1741
DOI: 10.1126/science.1100965

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Despite the use of electrons with wavelengths of just a few picometers, spatial resolution in a transmission electron microscope (TEM) has been limited by spherical aberration to typically around 0.15 nanometer. Individual atomic columns in a crystalline lattice can therefore only be imaged for a few low-order orientations, limiting the range of defects that can be imaged at atomic resolution. The recent development of spherical aberration correctors for transmission electron microscopy allows this limit to be overcome. We present direct images from an aberration-corrected scanning TEM that resolve a lattice in which the atomic columns are sepa-rated by less than 0.1 nanometer.

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