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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Patterned probes for high precision 4D-STEM bragg measurements.

  • Author(s): Zeltmann, Steven E
  • Müller, Alexander
  • Bustillo, Karen C
  • Savitzky, Benjamin
  • Hughes, Lauren
  • Minor, Andrew M
  • Ophus, Colin
  • et al.

Nanoscale strain mapping by four-dimensional scanning transmission electron microscopy (4D-STEM) relies on determining the precise locations of Bragg-scattered electrons in a sequence of diffraction patterns, a task which is complicated by dynamical scattering, inelastic scattering, and shot noise. These features hinder accurate automated computational detection and position measurement of the diffracted disks, limiting the precision of measurements of local deformation. Here, we investigate the use of patterned probes to improve the precision of strain mapping. We imprint a "bullseye" pattern onto the probe, by using a binary mask in the probe-forming aperture, to improve the robustness of the peak finding algorithm to intensity modulations inside the diffracted disks. We show that this imprinting leads to substantially improved strain-mapping precision at the expense of a slight decrease in spatial resolution. In experiments on an unstrained silicon reference sample, we observe an improvement in strain measurement precision from 2.7% of the reciprocal lattice vectors with standard probes to 0.3% using bullseye probes for a thin sample, and an improvement from 4.7% to 0.8% for a thick sample. We also use multislice simulations to explore how sample thickness and electron dose limit the attainable accuracy and precision for 4D-STEM strain measurements.

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