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A Bottom-Up Volume Reconstruction Method for Atom Probe Tomography

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 January 2022

Yu-Ting Ling*
Imec Vision Lab, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Antwerp, Belgium
Siegfried Cools
Applied Mathematics Group, University of Antwerp, Middelheimlaan 1, 2020 Antwerp, Belgium
Janusz Bogdanowicz
Imec vzw, Kapeldreef 75, 3001 Heverlee, Belgium
Claudia Fleischmann
Imec vzw, Kapeldreef 75, 3001 Heverlee, Belgium
Jan De Beenhouwer
Imec Vision Lab, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Antwerp, Belgium
Jan Sijbers
Imec Vision Lab, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Antwerp, Belgium
Wilfried Vandervorst
Imec vzw, Kapeldreef 75, 3001 Heverlee, Belgium Quantum Solid-State Physics, KU Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200D, 3001 Leuven, Belgium
*Corresponding author: Yu-Ting Ling, E-mail:
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This paper describes a reconstruction method for atom probe tomography based on a bottom-up approach accounting for (i) the final tip morphology (which is frequently induced by inhomogeneous evaporation probabilities across the tip surface due to laser absorption, heat diffusion effects, and inhomogeneous material properties), (ii) the limited (and changing) field of view, and (iii) the detector efficiency. The reconstruction starts from the final tip morphology and reverses the evaporation sequence through the pseudo-deposition of defined small reconstruction volumes, which are then stacked together to create the full three-dimensional (3D) tip. The subdivision in small reconstruction volumes allows the scheme to account for the changing tip shape and field of view as evaporation proceeds. Atoms within the same small reconstruction volume are reconstructed at once by placing atoms back onto their possible lattice sites through a trajectory-matching process involving simulated and experimental hit maps. As the ejected ion trajectories are simulated using detailed electrostatic modeling inside the chamber, no simplifications have been imposed on the shape of the trajectories, projection laws, or tip surface. We demonstrate the superior performance of our approach over the conventional reconstruction method (Bas) for an asymmetrical tip shape.

Development and Computation
Copyright © The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Microscopy Society of America

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