Influence of field evaporation on radial distribution functions in atom probe tomography

Daniel Haley, Timothy Petersen, Geoffrey Barton, Simon Ringer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines the extraction of structural information in the form of Radial Distribution Functions (RDFs) using Atom Probe Tomography (APT) data. These functions are generated in a highly efficient manner, thus allowing for the analysis of large data sets typical of APT. Experimental RDF calculations were performed for crystalline aluminium and a Mg65Cu25Y10 bulk metallic glass. For the pure aluminium sample, significant pair distance information was extracted, the quality of which was found to vary throughout the data set. Through a novel analysis procedure, the measured total RDF was used to map the local pair distance quality about each reconstructed atom. Surprisingly, the RDF quality maps indicated improved pair distance quality around poles and zone lines. In the case of the metallic glass, however, significant pair correlations were not discernible within the data set, despite short-range ordering being observed using TEM diffraction. The lack of correlations is thought to be associated with a non-uniform ion desorption sequence, as observed in this study. This affects the uniform evaporation assumption that is implicit in current 3D APT reconstruction procedures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)925 - 943
Number of pages19
JournalPhilosophical Magazine
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

Cite this