Published online by Cambridge University Press: 21 February 2011
Valence electron energy-loss (EEL) spectroscopy in a dedicated scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM) has been used to study the Σ11 grain boundary in α-A12O3 in comparison with bulk α-A12O3. The interband transition strength was derived by Kramers-Kronig analysis and the electronic structure followed from quantitative critical point (CP) modelling. Thereby differences in the acquired spectra were related quantitatively to differences in the electronic structure at the grain boundary. The band gap at the boundary was slightly reduced and the ionicity increased. This work demonstrates for the first time that quantitative analysis of spatially resolved (SR) valence EEL spectra is possible. This represents a new avenue to electronic structure information from localized structures.
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