The Σ5 (31O)/ symmetric tilt grain boundary (STGB) in the face centered cubic (FCC) metal aluminum with 1at% copper has been studied. The model grain boundary has been fabricated by ultra-high vacuum diffusion bonding of alloy single crystals. The segregation of the copper has been encouraged by annealing the sample after bonding at 200 °C. TEM samples of this FCCmaterial were prepared with a new low voltage ion mill under very low angles.
The atomic structure of the Σ5(310)/ STGB for this system was modeled with electronic structure calculations. These theoretical calculations of the interface structure indicate that the Cu atoms segregate to distinct sites at the interface. High resolution electron microscopy (HRTEM) and analytical electron microscopy including electron energy spectroscopic imaging and X-ray energy dispersive spectrometry have been used to explore the segregation to the grain boundary. The HRTEM images and the analytical measurements were performed using different kinds of microscopes, including a Philips CM300 FEG equipped with an imaging energy filter. The amount of the segregated species at the interface was quantified in a preliminary way. To determine the atomic positions of the segregated atoms at the interface, HRTEM coupled with image simulation and a first attempt of a holographic reconstruction from a through-focal series have been used.