IMI Interdisciplinary Mathematics InstituteCollege of Arts and Sciences

Fluctuation Microscopy: Nanoscale Order in Amorphous Materials from Electron Nanodiffraction

  • March 31, 2009
  • 3:30 p.m.
  • Sumwalt 102


Electron nanodiffraction in a STEM is a powerful tool for nanometerscale structural characterization of materials, from phase identification of small regions to solving the 3D structural of nanoparticles in atomic detail. I will discuss the application of systematic electron nanodiffraction to amorphous materials in a technique called fluctuation electron microscopy (FEM). Nanoscale order in these systems drives phenomena as diverse as electrical conduction and the glass transition, but characterizing it requires picking out statistically significant structures from a larger random background arising from stuctural disorder. I will present some example applications of FEM to semiconductors and metals, then discuss the potential of new, aberration-corrected STEMs to enable new experiments with variable probe size and denser sampling in reciprocal space. These new experiments will generate very large data sets and could benefit from advances data processing and analysis to separate important structures from disorder.

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