Isotope analysis in the transmission electron microscope

Author(s)
Toma Susi, Christoph Hofer, Giacomo Argentero, Gregor T. Leuthner, Timothy J. Pennycook, Clemens Mangler, Jannik C. Meyer, Jani Kotakoski
Abstract

The Ångström-sized probe of the scanning transmission electron microscope can visualize and collect spectra from single atoms. This can unambiguously resolve the chemical structure of materials, but not their isotopic composition. Here we differentiate between two isotopes of the same element by quantifying how likely the energetic imaging electrons are to eject atoms. First, we measure the displacement probability in graphene grown from either 12 C or 13 C and describe the process using a quantum mechanical model of lattice vibrations coupled with density functional theory simulations. We then test our spatial resolution in a mixed sample by ejecting individual atoms from nanoscale areas spanning an interface region that is far from atomically sharp, mapping the isotope concentration with a precision better than 20%. Although we use a scanning instrument, our method may be applicable to any atomic resolution transmission electron microscope and to other low-dimensional materials.

Organisation(s)
Physics of Nanostructured Materials
Journal
Nature Communications
Volume
7
No. of pages
8
ISSN
2041-1723
Publication date
10-2016
Peer reviewed
Yes
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
103018 Materials physics, 103042 Electron microscopy, 104012 Microanalysis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
Chemistry(all), Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all), Physics and Astronomy(all)
Portal url
https://ucris.univie.ac.at/portal/en/publications/isotope-analysis-in-the-transmission-electron-microscope(8da1d300-2195-4ea1-af1e-8535124a7c65).html