Probing the effect of electron channelling on atomic resolution energy dispersive X-ray quantification

Katherine E. MacArthur, Hamish G Brown, Scott D Findlay, Leslie J. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Advances in microscope stability, aberration correction and detector design now make it readily possible to achieve atomic resolution energy dispersive X-ray mapping for dose resilient samples. These maps show impressive atomic-scale qualitative detail as to where the elements reside within a given sample. Unfortunately, while electron channelling is exploited to provide atomic resolution data, this very process makes the images rather more complex to interpret quantitatively than if no electron channelling occurred. Here we propose small sample tilt as a means for suppressing channelling and improving quantification of composition, whilst maintaining atomic-scale resolution. Only by knowing composition and thickness of the sample is it possible to determine the atomic configuration within each column. The effects of neighbouring atomic columns with differing composition and of residual channelling on our ability to extract exact column-by-column composition are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)264-275
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017

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