Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy

Part of the Springer Handbooks book series (SHB)


The scanning transmission electron microscope () has become one of the preeminent instruments for high spatial resolution imaging and spectroscopy of materials, most notably at atomic resolution. The principle of STEM is quite straightforward. A beam of electrons is focused by electron optics to form a small illuminating probe that is raster-scanned across a sample. The sample is thinned such that the vast majority of electrons are transmitted, and the scattered electrons detected using some geometry of detector. The intensity as a function of probe position forms an image. It is the wide variety of possible detectors, and therefore imaging and spectroscopy modes, that gives STEM its strength. The purpose of this chapter is to describe what the STEM is, to highlight some of the types of experiment that can be performed using a STEM, to explain the principles behind the common modes of operation, to illustrate the features of typical STEM instrumentation, and to discuss some of the limiting factors in its performance.

scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM) STEM imaging STEM spectroscopy STEM optics 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dept. of MaterialsUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

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