K. Müller, F. Krause, A. Béché, M. Schowalter, V. Galioit, S. Löffler, J. Verbeeck, J. Zweck, P. Schattschneider, A. Rosenauer:
"Atomic electric fields revealed by a quantum mechanical approach to electron picodiffraction";
By focusing electrons on probes with a diameter of 50 pm, aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) is currently crossing the border to probing subatomic details. A major challenge is the measurement of atomic electric fields using differential phase contrast (DPC) microscopy, traditionally exploiting the concept of a field-induced shift of diffraction patterns. Here we present a simplified quantum theoretical interpretation of DPC. This enables us to calculate the momentum transferred to the STEM probe from diffracted intensities recorded on a pixel array instead of conventional segmented bright-field detectors. The methodical development yielding atomic electric field, charge and electron density is performed using simulations for binary GaN as an ideal model system. We then present a detailed experimental study of SrTiO3 yielding atomic electric fields, validated by comprehensive simulations. With this interpretation and upgraded instrumentation, STEM is capable of quantifying atomic electric fields and high-contrast imaging of light atoms.
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