Berkeley Lab

Atomic Electron Tomography: Capturing the Structure and Dynamics of Materials at 4D Atomic Resolution

By Chenhui Zhu

John Miao, a professor at UCLA, gave a user highlights talk on atomic electron tomography (AET), a recently developed technique that provides 3-D atomic structure of crystalline defects and noncrystalline systems. 

His group has been working on developing cutting edge imaging techniques, including coherent x-ray imaging, and atomic electron tomography, and applying these techniques in the interdisciplinary areas of physics, materials science, biology, and nanoscience.

He showed a few examples enabled by AET, including the observation of atomic steps at 3D grain boundaries, 3D atomic core of a screw dislocation, nucleation at its very early stages.

The measured 3D atomic coordinates of materials from AET can be used as inputs for quantum mechanics calculations of spin and orbital atomic magnetic moments, etc, which will greatly speed up the understanding and discoveries of quantum, energy materials, nanomaterials, and soft-biomaterials.

His team is part of the STROBE, an NSF Science and Technology Center on Real-Time Functional Imaging, which also includes members from the Molecular Foundry and the Advanced Light Source at the Berkeley Lab.