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Observation of the atomic structure of ß′-SiAlON using three generations of high resolution electron microscopes

Abstract : The structure of a ß′-SiAlON (Si5.6Al0.4O0.4N7.6) has been observed using three generations of unique high resolution microscopes spanning over three decades of development in instrumentation - the Atomic Resolution Microscope (ARM), the One Angstrom Microscope (OAM) and the Transmission Electron Aberration-corrected Microscope (TEAM). The information limits of these microscopes are 0.16, 0.08 and 0.05 nm respectively. Observations along 0 0 0 1 at Scherzer defocus for each microscope demonstrate a drastic increase in structural information. Images taken on TEAM show clearly resolved atomic columns whereas the ARM images were only indirectly related to the structure. Nevertheless, the loss of the six-fold symmetry associated with the O/N and Al/Si substitutions was already visible on images taken on the ARM, and an associated 25 pm displacement of the O substituting for N in some of the 2c Wyckoff positions of the SiN unit cell was measured on exit wave reconstructions obtained from through focal series on the OAM. This paper illustrates how progress in instrumentation impacts our analysis and understanding of materials.
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https://hal-mines-paristech.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00830457
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Submitted on : Thursday, August 2, 2018 - 10:03:01 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, September 24, 2020 - 6:30:04 PM

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Alain Thorel, J. Ciston, T. Bartel, C. Y. Song, U. Dahmen. Observation of the atomic structure of ß′-SiAlON using three generations of high resolution electron microscopes. Philosophical Magazine, Taylor & Francis, 2013, 93 (14-15), pp.1172-1181. ⟨10.1080/14786435.2012.762468⟩. ⟨hal-00830457⟩

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