The importance of beam alignment and crystal tilt in high resolution electron microscopy

David J. Smith, W. O. Saxton, M. A. O'Keefe, G. J. Wood, W. M. Stobbs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Scopus citations


The relative influences of crystal tilt and beam alignment on high-resolution electron-microscopic imaging have been investigated. With the use of contrast transfer theory in generalised dimensionless form, the major effect of slight beam misalignment has been shown to be the introduction of an antisymmetric phase shift in the diffracted beams so that the presence of any such misalignment cannot be detected by the standard diagnostic tool of high-resolution electron microscopy, namely the optical diffractogram. Specific image simulations, at 100 and 500 keV, for materials of both small and large unit cells (SnO2 and Ti2Nb10O29 respectively) show, however, that even slight beam tilt can have a marked effect on the images of crystalline materials, causing considerable spurious detail and a loss of expected symmetry. The various options for ensuring accurate beam and crystal alignment are briefly reviewed, and some aspects of the alignment problems are demonstrated using some recent experimental images recorded at 500 kV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-281
Number of pages19
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1983
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation


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