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Atom Probe Microscopy


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Table of Contents

List of Acronyms and Abbreviations
List of Terms
List of Non-SI Units and Constant ValuesPART I Fundamentals1. Introduction2. Field Ion Microscopy
2.1 Principles
2.1.1 Theory of field ionisation
2.1.2 'Seeing' atoms - field ion microscopy
2.1.3 Spatial resolution of the FIM
2.2 Instrumentation and Techniques for FIM
2.2.1 FIM instrumentation
2.2.2 eFIM or digital FIM
2.2.3 Tomographic FIM Techniques
2.3 Interpretation of FIM Images
2.3.1 Interpretation of the image in a pure material
2.3.2 Interpretation of the image for alloys
2.3.3 Selected applications of the FIM
2.3.4 Summary3 From Field Desorption Microscopy to Atom Probe Tomography
3.1 Principles
3.1.1 Theory of field evaporation
3.1.2 'Analysing' atoms one-by-one: atom probe tomography
3.2 Instrumentation and Techniques for APT
3.2.1 Experimental setup
3.2.2 Field desorption microscopy
3.2.3 High voltage pulsing techniques
3.2.4 Laser pulsing techniques
3.2.5 Energy compensation techniquesPart II Practical aspects4. Specimen Preparation
4.1 Introduction
4.1.1 Sampling issues in microscopy for materials science and engineering
4.1.2 Specimen requirements
4.2 Polishing methods
4.2.1 The electropolishing process
4.2.2 Chemical polishing
4.2.3 Safety Considerations
4.2.4 Advantages and limitations
4.3 Broad ion beam techniques
4.4 Focused ion beam techniques
4.4.1 Cut-away methods
4.4.2 Lift-out methods
4.4.3 The final stages of FIB preparation
4.4.4 Understanding and minimising ion beam damage and other artefacts
4.5 Deposition methods
4.6 Methods for organic materials
4.6.1 Polymer microtips
4.6.2 Self-assembled monolayers
4.6.3 Cryopreparation
4.7 Other Methods
4.7.1 Dipping
4.7.2 Direct growth of suitable structures
4.8 Specimen geometry issues
4.8.1 Influence of specimen geometry on atom probe data
4.8.2 Stress states and specimen rupture
4.9 A guide to selecting an appropriate specimen preparation method5. Experimental protocols in Field Ion Microscopy
5.1 Step-by-step procedures for FIM
5.2 Operational space of the field ion microscope
5.2.1 Imaging gas
5.2.2 Temperature
5.2.3 The best image field
5.2.4 Other parameters
5.2.5 Summary6. Experimental protocols
6.1 Specimen alignment
6.2 Aspects of mass spectrometry
6.2.1 Detection of the ions
6.2.2 Mass spectra
6.2.3 Formation of the mass spectrum
6.2.4 Mass resolution
6.2.5 Common artefacts
6.2.6 Elemental identification
6.2.7 Measurement of the composition
6.2.8 Detectability
6.3 Operational space
6.3.1 Flight path
6.3.2 Temperature / Pulse fraction
6.3.3 Selecting the pulsing mode
6.3.4 Pulse rate
6.3.5 Detection rate
6.4 Specimen failure
6.5 Data quality assessment
6.5.1 Field desorption map
6.5.2 Mass spectrum
6.5.3 Multiple events
6.5.4 Discussion7. Tomographic reconstruction
7.1 Projection of the ions
7.1.1 Estimation of the electric field
7.1.2 Field distribution
7.1.3 Ion trajectories
7.1.4 Point projection
7.1.5 Radial projection with angular compression
7.1.6 Discussion
7.2 Reconstruction
7.2.1 General considerations
7.2.2 Bas et al. protocol
7.2.3 Geiser et al. protocol
7.2.4 Gault et al. protocol
7.2.5 Reflectron-fitted instruments
7.2.6 Summary and discussion
7.3 Calibration of the parameters
7.3.2 Discussion
7.3.3 Limitations of the current procedure
7.4 Common artefacts
7.4.2 Correction of the reconstruction
7.5 Perspectives on the reconstruction in atom probe tomography
7.5.1 Advancing the reconstruction by correlative microscopy
7.5.2 In correlation with simulations
7.5.3 Alternative ways to exploit existing data
7.6 Spatial resolution in APT
7.6.1 Introduction
7.6.2 Means of investigation
7.6.3 Definition
7.6.4 On the in-depth resolution
7.6.5 On the lateral resolution
7.6.6 Optimisation of the spatial resolution
7.7 Lattice rectificationPART III Applying atom probe techniques for materials science8. Analysis techniques for atom probe tomography
8.1 Characterising the Mass Spectrum
8.1.1 Noise Reduction
8.1.2 Quantifying Peak Contributions via Isotope Natural Abundances
8.1.3 Spatially dependent identification of mass peaks
8.1.4 Multiple Detector Event Analyses
8.2 Characterising the chemical distribution
8.2.1 Quality of atom probe data
8.2.2 Random comparators
8.3 Grid-based counting statistics
8.3.1 Voxelisation
8.3.2 Density
8.3.3 Concentration analyses
8.3.4 Smoothing by delocalisation
8.3.5 Visualisation techniques based on iso-concentration and iso-density
8.3.6 One-dimensional profiles
8.3.7 Grid-based frequency distribution analyses
8.4 Techniques for describing atomic architecture
8.4.1 Nearest neighbour distributions
8.4.2 Cluster Identification Algorithms
8.4.3 Detection Efficiency Influence on Nanostructural Analyses
8.5 Radial Distribution
8.5.1 Radial distribution and pair correlation functions
8.5.2 Solute Short Range Order Parameters
8.6 Structural Analyses
8.6.1 Fourier Transforms for APT
8.6.2 Spatial Distribution Maps
8.6.3 Hough Transform9. Atom probe microscopy and materials science
9.1 Compositional analysis
9.2 Defects/ dislocations
9.3 Solid solutions / clustering
9.4 Precipitates
9.5 Ordering reaction
9.6 Spinodal decomposition
9.7 Interface/boundaries/layers
9.8 Amorphous materials
9.9 Atom probe crystallographyAppendices
A. Appendix - 2 distribution
B. Appendix - Polishing chemicals and conditions
C. File formats used in APT
Cameca root files - RRAW, RHIT, ROOT
D. Appendix - Image Hump Model Predictions
E. Appendix - Essential Crystallography for APT
Bravais lattices
Structure factor (F) rules for BCC, FCC, HCP
Interplanar spacings (dhkl)
Interplanar angles ( )
F. Stereographic Projections and commonly observed desorption maps
Stereographic projection for the most commonly found structures and orientations
Face-centred cubic
Body-centred cubic
Diamond cubic
Hexagonal close-packed
G. Periodic tables
H. Kingham Curves
I. List of elements and associated mass to charge ratios
J. Possible element identity of peaks as a function of their location in the mass spectrum


"Atom Probe Microscopy ... provides a much needed update on the topic and introduces the broader scientific community to this developing technique. ... this book fills a critical need for a revised and updated text that can educate and motivate new researchers and also provide up-to-date references for active practitioners. The balanced delivery of instructional and reference material, in tandem with excellent graphical examples, make this book a flexible text for any atom probe laboratory." (Daniel K. Schreiber, Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, Vol.407, 2015)

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