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We propose a practical method of producing a single mode electron vortex beam suitable for use in a scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM). The method involves using a holographic “fork” aperture to produce a row of beams of different orbital angular momenta, as is now well established, magnifying the row so that neighboring beams are separated by about 1 µm, selecting the desired beam with a narrow slit, and demagnifying the selected beam down to 1–2 Å in size. We show that the method can be implemented by adding two condenser lenses plus a selection slit to a straight-column cold-field emission STEM. It can also be carried out in an existing instrument, the monochromated Nion high-energy-resolution monochromated electron energy-loss spectroscopy-STEM, by using its monochromator in a novel way. We estimate that atom-sized vortex beams with ≥20 pA of current should be attainable at 100–200 keV in either instrument.
Atomic-resolution structural and spectroscopic characterization techniques (scanning transmission electron microscopy and electron energy loss spectroscopy) are combined with nanoscale electrical measurements (conductive atomic force microscopy) to study at the atomic scale the properties of graphene grown epitaxially through the controlled graphitisation of Si-face and C-face hexagonal SiC(0001) substrates by high temperature annealing. A scanning transmission electron microscopy analysis, carried out at 60KeV of beam energy, below the knock-on threshold for carbon to ensure no damage is imparted to the film by the electron beam, demonstrates that the buffer layer present on the planar SiC(0001) Si-face delaminates from it on the (11-2n) facets of SiC surface steps, In addition, electron energy loss spectroscopy reveals that the delaminated layer has a similar electronic configuration to purely sp2-hybridized graphene. A thin amorphous film is found on the C-face, instead, which strongly suppresses epitaxy with the SiC substrate. Structurally, the amorphous area is inhomgeneous, as its Si-concentration gradually decreases while approaching the first graphene layer, which is purely sp2-hybridized. Based on these features, we discuss differences and similarities between the C-only buffer layer that forms on the Si-face of SiC with respect to the thicker C/Si amorphous film of the C-face.
Doping of silicon with chalcogens (S, Se, Te) by femtosecond laser irradiation to concentrations well above the solubility limit leads to near-unity optical absorptance in the visible and infrared (IR) range and is a promising route toward silicon-based IR optoelectronics. However, open questions remain about the nature of the IR absorptance and in particular about the impact of the dopant distribution and possible role of dopant diffusion. Here we use electron tomography using a high-angle annular dark-field (HAADF) detector in a scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM) to extract information about the three-dimensional distribution of selenium dopants in silicon and correlate these findings with the optical properties of selenium-doped silicon. We quantify the tomography results to extract information about the size distribution and density of selenium precipitates. Our results show correlation between nanoscale distribution of dopants and the observed sub-band gap optical absorptance and demonstrate the feasibility of HAADF-STEM tomography for the investigation of dopant distribution in highly-doped semiconductors.
We show that aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy operating at low accelerating voltages is able to analyze, simultaneously and with single atom resolution and sensitivity, the local atomic configuration, chemical identities, and optical response at point defect sites in monolayer graphene. Sequential fast-scan annular dark-field (ADF) imaging provides direct visualization of point defect diffusion within the graphene lattice, with all atoms clearly resolved and identified via quantitative image analysis. Summing multiple ADF frames of stationary defects produce images with minimized statistical noise and reduced distortions of atomic positions. Electron energy-loss spectrum imaging of single atoms allows the delocalization of inelastic scattering to be quantified, and full quantum mechanical calculations are able to describe the delocalization effect with good accuracy. These capabilities open new opportunities to probe the defect structure, defect dynamics, and local optical properties in 2D materials with single atom sensitivity.