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3-D Imaging of Crystals at Atomic Resolution

  • M.A. O'keefe (a1), K.H. Downing (a2), H-R. Wenk (a3) and Hu Meisheng (a3)


Electron crystallography has now been used to investigate the structures of inorganic materials in three dimensions. As a test of the method, amplitudes and phases of structure factors were obtained experimentally from high resolution images of staurolite taken in a number of different projections. From images in five orientations, a three-dimensional Coulomb potential map was constructed with a resolution of better than 1.4Å. The map clearly resolves all the cations (Al,Si,Fe) in the structure, and all of the oxygen atoms. This method promises great potential for structure determinations of small domains in heterogeneous crystals which are inaccessible to x-ray analysis. Three-dimensional structure determinations should be possible on small domains only approximately 10 unit cells wide, and may resolve site occupancies in addition to atom positions. Given a microscope stage with a suitable range of tilt and enough mechanical stability, the method could also be applied to small crystalline particles larger than about 50Å to 100Å. In addition, it may be possible to apply the method to derive the two-dimensional structure of periodic defects.



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3-D Imaging of Crystals at Atomic Resolution

  • M.A. O'keefe (a1), K.H. Downing (a2), H-R. Wenk (a3) and Hu Meisheng (a3)


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