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We present a specimen preparation procedure for atom-probe tomography using SemGlu from Kleindiek Nanotechnik, an adhesive that hardens under electron beam irradiation. The SemGlu adhesive is used in place of focused-ion-beam-induced deposition of organo-metallic Pt, W, or C to form a bond between the sample and the substrate during the specimen preparation procedure. We demonstrate the utility of this adhesive-based specimen preparation technique with a correlated atom-probe tomography-scanning transmission electron microscopy study of the iron-nickel alloy kamacite (ferrite, ɑ-iron) in the Bristol iron meteorite and two steel specimens.
X-ray beam-induced damage in nanoscale metal islands was investigated. Monolayer-high Ni islands were prepared on a Cu(111) substrate. High brilliance X-rays with photon energies between 8.45 and 8.85 keV illuminated the sample for about 11 hours. In order to track changes in the morphology of the islands, the synchrotron X-ray scanning tunneling microscopy (SX-STM) technique was utilized. The result shows that X-ray illumination onto Ni islands does not induce noticeable damage. The study demonstrates that local beam-induced changes can be studied using SX-STM.
Traditional electron microscopy techniques such as bright-field imaging provide poor contrast for organic films and identification of structures in amorphous material can be problematic, particularly in high-performance organic solar cells. By combining energy-filtered corrected transmission electron microscopy, together with electron energy loss and X-ray energy-dispersive hyperspectral imaging, we have imaged PTB7/PC61BM blended polymer optical photovoltaic films, and were able to identify domains ranging in size from several hundred nanometers to several nanometers in extent. This work verifies that microstructural domains exist in bulk heterojunctions in PTB7/PC61BM polymeric solar cells at multiple length scales and expands our understanding of optimal device performance providing insight for the design of even higher performance cells.