Vibrational electron energy loss spectroscopy in truncated dielectric slabs

Andrea Konečná, Kartik Venkatraman, Katia March, Peter Crozier, Rainer Hillenbrand, Peter Rez, Javier Aizpurua

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Specially designed instrumentation for electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) in a scanning transmission electron microscope makes it possible to probe very low-loss excitations in matter with a focused electron beam. Here we study the nanoscale interaction of fast electrons with optical phonon modes in silica. In particular, we analyze the spatial dependence of EEL spectra in two geometrical arrangements: a free-standing truncated slab of silica and a slab with a junction between silica and silicon. In both cases, we identify different loss channels, involving polaritonic and nonpolaritonic contributions to the total electron energy loss, and we obtain the corresponding energy-filtered maps. Furthermore, we present a comparison of the theoretical simulations for a silica-silicon junction with experimental results, and we discuss the spatial resolution attainable from the energy-filtered map considering optical phonon excitations in a conventional experimental arrangement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number205409
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number20
StatePublished - Nov 13 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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