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Authors' Response

  • Chun-Lin Jia (a1), Markus Lentzen (a1) and Knut Urban (a1)

Extract

The authors are grateful to the Editor for the opportunity to reply to the letter by Lupini et al. The authors of the above letter comment on a set of recent articles in which the novel technique of imaging at a negative value of the spherical aberration coefficient of the objective lens in an aberration-corrected transmission electron microscope (NCSI technique) is methodically described and applied to the measurement of the occupancy of atomically resolved oxygen columns in perovskites. In particular, the authors raise doubts about the possibility of inferring quantitative data from measurements of the local image intensity at the position of the oxygen atom columns. With reference to the study by Jia et al. (2003a), the letter authors present an image simulation on the basis of which it is stated that the observed effect of a reduced intensity at the oxygen atomic columns should not be interpreted in terms of reduced oxygen occupancy but can, as the authors claim, be “better” explained on the basis of the effect of surface roughness on contrast. In addition, the authors emphasize the work of Kim et al. (2001) with respect to the nonstoichiometry of the oxygen occupancy in grain boundaries of SrTiO3 and criticize our reference to the literature in which it is reported that oxygen cannot be observed by the scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) technique in Z-contrast. In the following, we shall demonstrate that in spite of the fact that a nonideal surface morphology can—as in the application of any (!) electron microscopic technique whether used in TEM or in STEM—have an effect on local image intensity, meaningful quantitative measurements of relative oxygen-atom site occupancies can be carried out employing the NCSI technique.

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References

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REFERENCES

Grey, I.E., Li, Ch., Cranswick, L.M.D., Roth, R.S., & Vanderah, T.A. (1998). Structure analysis of the 6H-Ba(Ti, Fe3+, Fe4+)O3-δ solid solution. J Solid State Chem 135, 312321.
Jia, C.L., Lentzen, M., & Urban, K. (2003a). Atomic-resolution imaging of oxygen in perovskite ceramics. Science 299, 870873.
Jia, C.L., Lentzen, M., & Urban, K. (2003b). Quantitative aberration-corrected transmission electron microscopy. In FEMMS 2003, San Francisco, CA.
Jia, C.L., Lentzen, M., & Urban, K. (2004a). High-resolution transmission electron microscopy using negative spherical aberration. Microsc Microanal 10, 174184.
Jia, C.L., Lentzen, M., & Urban, K. (2004b). Quantitative aberration-corrected transmission electron microscopy. In M&M Pre-Meeting on Electron Microscopy in an Aberration-Corrected Environment, Savannah, GA.
Jia, C.L. & Urban, K. (2004). Atomic-resolution measurement of oxygen concentration in oxide materials. Science 303, 20012004.
Kim, M., Duscher, G., Browning, N.D., Sohlberg, K., Pantelides, S.T., & Pennycook, S.J. (2001). Nonstoichiometry and the electrical activity of grain boundaries in SrTiO3. Phys Rev Lett 86, 40564059.
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