Skip to main content Accessibility help

Structural Mapping of Disordered Materials by Nanobeam Diffraction Imaging and Multivariate Statistical Analysis

  • Ping Lu (a1) and Bryan D. Gauntt (a1)


A hybrid nanobeam diffraction/imaging method, which combines well-developed diffraction imaging with nanobeam diffraction (NBD) pattern analysis, is described for structural mapping of disordered materials. Spatially resolved crystallographic information is obtained by NBD imaging by collecting NBD patterns at predefined intervals within a field of interest. The resulting dataset of NBD patterns is preprocessed to produce a spectral-imaging-like dataset and is further analyzed via multivariate statistical analysis methods in order to extract the relevant structural components and their distribution within the area of the sample under study without prior knowledge. Additional radial distribution function analysis of either the principal components or averaged data provides real-space maps of short-range order within the field of interest. This technique is demonstrated for two systems, one with multiple amorphous phases and one with multiple phases (amorphous and nanocrystalline) with similar chemistry.


Corresponding author

* Corresponding author. E-mail:


Hide All
Alloyeau, D., Ricolleau, C., Oikawa, T., Langlois, C., Bouar, Y.L. & Loiseau, A. (2008). STEM nanodiffraction technique for structural analysis of CoPt nanoparticles. Ultramicroscopy 108, 656662.
Armigliato, A., Frabboni, S. & Gazzadi, G.C. (2008). Electron diffraction with ten nanometer beam size for strain analysis of nanodevices. Appl Phys Lett 93, 161906.
Beche, A., Clement, L. & Rouviere, J.-L. (2010). Improved accuracy in nano beam electron diffraction. J Phys 209, 012063.
Beche, A., Rouviere, J.L., Clement, L. & Hartmann, J.M. (2009). Improved precision in strain measurement using nanobeam electron diffraction. Appl Phys Lett 95, 123114.
Bonnet, N., Brun, N. & Colliex, C. (1999). Extracting information from sequences of spatially resolved EELS spectra using multivariate statistical analysis. Ultramicroscopy 77, 97112.
Bosman, M., Watanabe, M., Alexander, D.T.L. & Keast, V.J. (2006). Mapping chemical and bonding information using multivariate analysis of electron energy-loss spectrum images. Ultramicroscopy 106(11-12), 10241032.
Brewer, L.N., Kotula, P.G. & Michael, J.R. (2008). Multivariate statistical approach to electron backscattered diffraction. Ultramicroscopy 108, 567578.
Cockayne, D.J.H. (2007). The study of nanovolumes of amorphous materials using electron scattering. Ann Rev Mater Res 37, 159187.
Cockayne, D., Chen, Y., Li, G. & Borisenko, K. (2009). The technique of RDF of nanovolumes using electron diffraction. J Phys Conf Ser 241, 012006.
Cockayne, D.J.H., McKenzie, D.R., McBride, W., Goringe, C. & McCulloch, D. (2000). Characterization of amorphous material by electron diffraction and atomistic modeling. Microsc Microanal 6, 329334.
Cooper, D., Beche, A., Hartmann, J.-M., Carron, V. & Rouviere, J.-L. (2010). Strain mapping for the semiconductor industry by dark-field electron holography and nanobeam electron diffraction with nm resolution. Semicond Sci Technol 25, 095012.
Cowley, J.M. (1999). Electron nanodiffraction. Microsc Res Techniq 46, 7597.
Du, H.L., Datta, P.K., Inman, I., Geurts, R. & Kubel, C. (2003). Microscopy of wear affected surface produced during sliding of Nimonic 80A against Stellite 6 at 20°C. Mater Sci Eng A 357, 412422.
Favia, P., Klenov, D., Eneman, G., Verheyen, P., Bauer, M., Weeks, D., Thomas, S.G. & Bender, H. (2008). Strain study in transistors with SiC and SiGe source and drain by STEM nano beam diffraction. EMC 2008 14th European Microscopy Congress, Aachen, Germany, September 1–5, 2008, pp. 1516. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
Ganesh, K.J., Kawasaki, M., Zhou, J.P. & Ferreira, P.J. (2010). D-STEM: A parallel electron diffraction technique applied to nanomaterials. Microsc Microanal 16, 614621.
Hirata, A., Guan, P., Fujita, T., Hirotsu, Y., Inoue, A., Yavari, A.R., Sakurai, T. & Chen, M. (2010). Direct observation of local atomic order in a metallic glass. Nat Mater 10, 2833.
Hirotsu, Y., Ishimaru, M., Ohkubo, T., Hanada, T. & Sugiyama, M. (2001). Application of nano-diffraction to local atomic distribution function analysis of amorphous materials. J Electron Microsc 50, 435442.
Ishimaru, M. (2006). Electron-beam radial distribution analysis of irradiation-induced amorphous SiC. Nucl Instrum Methods Phys Res B 250, 309314.
Ishimaru, M., Bae, I.-T., Hirotsu, Y., Matsumura, S. & Sickafus, K.E. (2002). Structural relaxation of amorphous silicon carbide. Phys Rev Lett 89, 055502.
Ishimaru, M., Hirata, A., Naito, M., Bae, I.-T., Zhang, Y. & Weber, W.J. (2008). Direct observations of thermally induced structural changes in amorphous silicon carbide. J Appl Phys 104, 033503.
Kaiser, H.F. (1958). The varimax criterion for analytic rotation in factor analysis. Psychometrika 23, 187200.
Keenan, M.R. (2009). Exploiting spatial-domain simplicity in spectral image analysis. Surf Interf Anal 41(2), 7987.
Keenan, M.R. & Kotula, P.G. (2004a). Accounting for Poisson noise in the multivariate analysis of ToF-SIMS spectrum images. Surf Interf Anal 36, 203212.
Keenan, M.R. & Kotula, P.G. (2004b). Optimal scaling of TOF-SIMS spectrum-images prior to multivariate statistical analysis. Appl Surf Sci 231232, 240244.
Keenan, M.R., Smentkowski, V.S., Ulfig, R.M., Oltman, E., Larson, D.J. & Kelly, T.F. (2010). Multivariate statistical analysis of atom probe tomography data. Microsc Microanal 16(Suppl 2), 270271.
Kimoto, K., Isakozawa, S., Aoyama, T. & Matsui, Y. (2001). Spatially-resolved EELS analysis of multilayer using EFTEM and STEM. J Electron Microsc 50, 523528.
Kolb, U., Gorelik, T., Kubel, C., Otten, M.T. & Hubert, D. (2007). Towards automated diffraction tomography: Part I—Data acquisition. Ultramicroscopy 107, 507513.
Kolb, U., Mugnaioli, E. & Gorelik, T.E. (2011). Automated electron diffraction tomography—A new tool for nano crystal structure analysis. Crystal Res Technol 46, 542554.
Kotula, P.G. & Keenan, M.R. (2006). Application of multivariate statistical analysis to STEM X-ray spectral images: Interfacial analysis in microelectronics. Microsc Microanal 12, 538544.
Kotula, P.G., Kennan, M.R. & Michael, J.R. (2003). Automated analysis of SEM X-ray spectral images: A powerful new microanalysis tool. Microsc Microanal 9, 117.
McBride, W. & Cockayne, D.J.H. (2003). The structure of nanovolumes of amorphous materials. J Non-Cryst Solids 318, 233238.
Mitchell, D.R.G. & Petersen, T.C. (2012). RDFTools: A software tool for quantifying short-range order in amorphous materials. Microsc Res Techniq 75, 153162.
Naito, M., Ishimaru, M. & Hirotsu, Y. (2004). Local structural analysis of Ge-Sb-Te phase change materials using high-resolution electron microscopy and nanobeam diffraction. J Appl Phys 95, 81308135.
Sarahan, M.C., Chi, M., Masiel, D.J. & Browning, N.D. (2011). Point defect characterization in HAADF-STEM images using multivariate staistical analysis. Ultramicroscopy 111(3), 251257.
Street, R.A. (1991). Hydrogenated Amorphous Silicon. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Tewes, M., Zweck, J. & Hoffmann, H. (1994). Derivation of partial pair distribution functions for amorphous FeTb from electron scattering data based on a new concept. J Phys Cond Matter 6, 835848.
Usada, K., Numata, T., Irisawa, T., Hirashita, N. & Takagi, S. (2005). Strain characterization in SOI and strained-Si on SGOI MOSFET channel using nano-beam electron diffraction (NBD). Mater Sci Eng B 124125, 143147.


Structural Mapping of Disordered Materials by Nanobeam Diffraction Imaging and Multivariate Statistical Analysis

  • Ping Lu (a1) and Bryan D. Gauntt (a1)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed