Probing the limits of the rigid-intensity-shift model in differential-phase-contrast scanning transmission electron microscopy

L Clark, H G Brown, D M Paganin, M J Morgan, T Matsumoto, N Shibata, T C Petersen, S D Findlay

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The rigid-intensity-shift model of differential-phase-contrast imaging assumes that the phase gradient imposed on the transmitted probe by the sample causes the diffraction pattern intensity to shift rigidly by an amount proportional to that phase gradient. This behavior is seldom realized exactly in practice. Through a combination of experimental results, analytical modeling and numerical calculations, using as case studies electron microscope imaging of the built-in electric field in a p-n junction and nanoscale domains in a magnetic alloy, we explore the breakdown of rigid-intensity-shift behavior and how this depends on the magnitude of the phase gradient and the relative scale of features in the phase profile and the probe size. We present guidelines as to when the rigid-intensity-shift model can be applied for quantitative phase reconstruction using segmented detectors, and propose probe-shaping strategies to further improve the accuracy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number043843
Number of pages12
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 18 Apr 2018

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