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Lattice Rectification in Atom Probe Tomography: Toward True Three-Dimensional Atomic Microscopy

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 March 2011

Michael P. Moody*
Affiliation:
Australian Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
Baptiste Gault
Affiliation:
Australian Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
Leigh T. Stephenson
Affiliation:
Australian Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
Ross K.W. Marceau
Affiliation:
Australian Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
Rebecca C. Powles
Affiliation:
Australian Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
Anna V. Ceguerra
Affiliation:
Australian Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
Andrew J. Breen
Affiliation:
Australian Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
Simon P. Ringer
Affiliation:
Australian Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
*
Corresponding author. E-mail: michael.moody@sydney.edu.au

Abstract

Atom probe tomography (APT) represents a significant step toward atomic resolution microscopy, analytically imaging individual atoms with highly accurate, though imperfect, chemical identity and three-dimensional (3D) positional information. Here, a technique to retrieve crystallographic information from raw APT data and restore the lattice-specific atomic configuration of the original specimen is presented. This lattice rectification technique has been applied to a pure metal, W, and then to the analysis of a multicomponent Al alloy. Significantly, the atoms are located to their true lattice sites not by an averaging, but by triangulation of each particular atom detected in the 3D atom-by-atom reconstruction. Lattice rectification of raw APT reconstruction provides unprecedented detail as to the fundamental solute hierarchy of the solid solution. Atomic clustering has been recognized as important in affecting alloy behavior, such as for the Al-1.1Cu-1.7Mg (at. %) investigated here, which exhibits a remarkable rapid hardening reaction during the early stages of aging, linked to clustering of solutes. The technique has enabled lattice-site and species-specific radial distribution functions, nearest-neighbor analyses, and short-range order parameters, and we demonstrate a characterization of solute-clustering with unmatched sensitivity and precision.

Type
Material Applications
Copyright
Copyright © Microscopy Society of America 2011

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