Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 54, Issue 5, pp 3694–3709 | Cite as

Characterization of grain boundary disconnections in SrTiO3 part I: the dislocation component of grain boundary disconnections

  • Hadas Sternlicht
  • Wolfgang Rheinheimer
  • Rafal E. Dunin-Borkowski
  • Michael J. Hoffmann
  • Wayne D. KaplanEmail author


High-resolution transmission electron microscopy is often used to characterize grain boundaries, but it is usually limited to special high symmetry boundaries with a high density of coincident sites. For these ‘special’ boundaries, both crystals can be brought into a low-index zone-axis with the boundary plane parallel to the incident electron beam. In this case the atomistic structure of the boundary can be solved, which is not possible for other, more general grain boundaries. In the present study, general grain boundaries in SrTiO3 were analyzed using aberration-corrected transmission electron microscopy and scanning transmission electron microscopy. These boundaries included at least one type of disconnection (i.e., defects that can have a step and/or a dislocation component). Since the dislocation component of disconnections along general grain boundaries cannot be fully resolved using the methods currently available, a plane matching approach was used to compare disconnections at different boundaries. Using this approach, the dislocation component of the disconnections was partially characterized and was found to have an edge component mainly parallel to {100} and {110}, close to normal to the macroscopic grain boundary plane. The step component of the disconnections was found to be aligned mainly parallel to the same crystallographic planes ({100} and {110}).



The authors acknowledge Lothar Houben for assistance with acquiring the data set presented in Figs. 1 and 2 in this manuscript and Fig. S1 and S2 in the supplementary material, and for detailed discussions. The authors thank D. Medlin for his comments on the manuscript and extended discussions. This work was partially supported via a German-Israel Fund (GIF) Grant No. I-1276-401.10/2014.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (TIFF 10951 kb)
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Supplementary material 4 (TIFF 2570 kb)
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Supplementary material 5 (DOCX 124 kb)


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EngineeringBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  2. 2.Materials EngineeringPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA
  3. 3.Ernst Ruska-Centre for Microscopy and Spectroscopy with Electrons and Peter Grünberg InstituteForschungszentrum Jülich GmbHJülichGermany
  4. 4.Institute of Applied MaterialsKarlsruhe Institute of TechnologyKarlsruheGermany
  5. 5.Department of Materials Science and EngineeringTechnion – Israel Institute of TechnologyHaifaIsrael

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