Quantitative atomic resolution mapping using high-angle annular dark field scanning transmission electron microscopy
Faculty of Sciences. Physics
Ultramicroscopy. - Amsterdam
, p. 1236-1244
University of Antwerp
A model-based method is proposed to relatively quantify the chemical composition of atomic columns using high angle annular dark field (HAADF) scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) images. The method is based on a quantification of the total intensity of the scattered electrons for the individual atomic columns using statistical parameter estimation theory. In order to apply this theory, a model is required describing the image contrast of the HAADF STEM images. Therefore, a simple, effective incoherent model has been assumed which takes the probe intensity profile into account. The scattered intensities can then be estimated by fitting this model to an experimental HAADF STEM image. These estimates are used as a performance measure to distinguish between different atomic column types and to identify the nature of unknown columns with good accuracy and precision using statistical hypothesis testing. The reliability of the method is supported by means of simulated HAADF STEM images as well as a combination of experimental images and electron energy-loss spectra. It is experimentally shown that statistically meaningful information on the composition of individual columns can be obtained even if the difference in averaged atomic number Z is only 3. Using this method, quantitative mapping at atomic resolution using HAADF STEM images only has become possible without the need of simultaneously recorded electron energy loss spectra.