The ability to obtain chemical information with (near) atomic resolution has recently become possible by a combined approach of Z-contrast imaging with electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS) in scanning transmission electron microscopes. This method is particularly interesting for the characterization of structure-property relationships in novel multicomponent oxides, which possess added functionality due to their high nonstoichiometry.
In this paper we demonstrate the capabilities of this method in analyzing the microstructural mechanisms of accommodation of non-stoichiometry, using two example systems: (Ba,Sr)TiO3thin films for DRAM applications, grown by MOCVD with different amounts of excess titanium, and an oxygen-deficient perovskite ceramic, SrCoOx. The experiments were performed in a JEOL JEM 201 OF field emission transmission electron microscope, operating at 200 kV, equipped with an annular dark-field detector, scanning unit and a post-column imaging filter (Gatan GIF 200). This microscope has been demonstrated to achieve probe sizes of under 1.5 Å .