Future of atomic resolution electron microscopy for materials science

John Spence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


The field of atomic-resolution transmission electron microscopy and its application to materials science is reviewed. This technique, whose spatial resolution is now about one Angstrom, is valuable wherever nanoscale characterization of materials is needed. The history of the subject is briefly outlined, followed by a discussion of experimental techniques. Resolution-limiting factors are summarized, together with the underlying theory of image formation. Seven promising approaches to super-resolution are reviewed. The statistical principles of quantitative image analysis and defect modelling are outlined for both HREM and STEM. Methods for obtaining defect energies from images are discussed. The review ends with a summary of some recent applications, including such topics as the Fullerenes, nanotubes, dislocation kink imaging, superconductors, atomic-resolution imaging of whole semiconductor devices, the study of atomic defects in mediating first-order phase transitions, collosal magnetoresistance, ceramic interfaces, quasicrystals, imaging of surfaces, glasses, catalysts and magnetic materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-49
Number of pages49
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering R: Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 26 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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