To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Over the last two decades, three-dimensional (3D) imaging by transmission electron microscopy or “electron tomography” has evolved into a powerful tool to investigate a variety of nanomaterials in different fields, such as life sciences, chemistry, solid-state physics, and materials science. Most of these results were obtained with nanometer-scale resolution, but different approaches have recently pushed the resolution to the atomic level. Such information is a prerequisite to understand the specific relationship between the atomic structure and the physicochemical properties of (nano)materials. We provide an overview of the latest progress in the field of atomic-resolution electron tomography. Different imaging and reconstruction approaches are presented, and state-of-the-art results are discussed. This article demonstrates the power and importance of electron tomography with atomic-scale resolution.
The characterization of biological and inorganic materials by determining their three-dimensional structure in conditions closer to their native state is a major challenge of technological research. Environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM) provides access to the observation of hydrated samples in water environments. Here, we present a specific device for ESEM in the scanning transmission electron microscopy mode, allowing the acquisition of tilt-series suitable for tomographic reconstructions. The resolution which can be obtained with this device is first determined. Then, we demonstrate the feasibility of tomography on wet materials. The example studied here is hydrophilic mesoporous silica (MCM-41). Finally, the minimum thickness of water which can be detected is calculated from Monte Carlo simulations and compared with the resolution expected in the tomograms.
The use of carbon nanotubes (CNT) as interconnects in future integrated circuits (IC) is being considered as a replacement for copper. As this research needs also innovative metrology solutions, we have developed a combined approach for the plane-view analysis of CNT integrated in contact holes where transmission electron microscopy (TEM) enables the quantitative measurement of density and structure of the CNT and where scanning spreading resistance microscopy (SSRM) is used to electrically map the distribution of the CNT. This paper explains the used methodologies in detail and presents results from 300 nm diameter contact holes filled with CNT of 8-12 nm in diameter and a density of about 2 x 1011 cm-2.
The three-dimensional (3D) distribution of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) grown inside semiconductor contact holes is studied by electron tomography. The use of a specialized tomography holder results in an angular tilt range of ±90°, which means that the so-called “missing wedge” is absent. The transmission electron microscopy (TEM) sample for this purpose consists of a micropillar that is prepared by a dedicated procedure using the focused ion beam (FIB) but keeping the CNTs intact. The 3D results are combined with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) to study the relation between the CNTs and the catalyst particles used during their growth. The reconstruction, based on the full range of tilt angles, is compared with a reconstruction where a missing wedge is present. This clearly illustates that the missing wedge will lead to an unreliable interpretation and will limit quantitative studies.
Focused ion beam specimen preparation has been used for NiTi samples
and SrTiO3/SrRuO3 multilayers with prevention of
surface amorphization and Ga implantation by a 2-kV cleaning procedure.
Transmission electron microscopy techniques show that the samples are of
high quality with a controlled thickness over large scales. Furthermore,
preferential thinning effects in multicompounds are avoided, which is
important when analytical transmission electron microscopy measurements
need to be interpreted in a quantitative manner. The results are compared
to similar measurements acquired for samples obtained using conventional
preparation techniques such as electropolishing for alloys and ion milling