An alternative approach to determine attainable resolution directly from HREM images
Faculty of Sciences. Physics
Ultramicroscopy. - Amsterdam
, p. 50-61
University of Antwerp
The concept of resolution in high-resolution electron microscopy (HREM) is the power to resolve neighboring atoms. Since the resolution is related to the width of the point spread function of the microscope, it could in principle be determined from the image of a point object. However, in electron microscopy there are no ideal point objects. The smallest object is an individual atom. If the width of an atom is much smaller than the resolution of the microscope, this atom can still be considered as a point object. As the resolution of the microscope enters the sub-Å regime, information about the microscope is strongly entangled with the information about the atoms in HREM images. Therefore, we need to find an alternative method to determine the resolution in an object-independent way. In this work we propose to use the image wave of a crystalline object in zone axis orientation. Under this condition, the atoms of a column act as small lenses so that the electron beam channels through the atom column periodically. Because of this focusing, the image wave of the column can be much more peaked than the constituting atoms and can thus be a much more sensitive probe to measure the resolution. Our approach is to use the peakiness of the image wave of the atom column to determine the resolution. We will show that the resolution can be directly linked to the total curvature of the atom column wave. Moreover, we can then directly obtain the resolution of the microscope given that the contribution from the object is known, which is related to the bounding energy of the atom. The method is applied on an experimental CaTiO3 image wave.