Atomic-Scale Chemical Imaging of Composition and Bonding by Aberration-Corrected Microscopy

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Science  22 Feb 2008:
Vol. 319, Issue 5866, pp. 1073-1076
DOI: 10.1126/science.1148820

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Using a fifth-order aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscope, which provides a factor of 100 increase in signal over an uncorrected instrument, we demonstrated two-dimensional elemental and valence-sensitive imaging at atomic resolution by means of electron energy-loss spectroscopy, with acquisition times of well under a minute (for a 4096-pixel image). Applying this method to the study of a La0.7Sr0.3MnO3/SrTiO3 multilayer, we found an asymmetry between the chemical intermixing on the manganese-titanium and lanthanum-strontium sublattices. The measured changes in the titanium bonding as the local environment changed allowed us to distinguish chemical interdiffusion from imaging artifacts.

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