Internal boundaries in crystalline microstructures, like polycrystals, thin-film or multi-layer composites, essentially control many important material properties and physical phenomena, such as mechanical deformation and fracture, transport processes or phase transformations. This influence is originating from the local atomistic and electronic structures at the boundaries. Hence, for a. science-based technological design and optimisation of structural and functional materials it is of paramount importance to characterize and understand the structure, chemistry and bonding at interfaces.
Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) has matured to one of the most successful experimental approaches for the analysis of extended structural defects like dislocations and interfaces. This presentation discusses scientific and technological ingredients of TEM for quantitative characterisations on the microscopic level. For selected model cases of internal interfaces it illustrates recent achievements of both experiment and theory. A variety of interface properties and corresponding TEM techniques for their characterisation are summarized in TABLE 1.