Thickness and Bending Effects

  • David B. Williams
  • C. Barry Carter


We see diffraction contrast in an image for two reasons: either the thickness of the specimen varies or the diffraction conditions change across the specimen: the t effect and the s effect! The thickness effect: when the thickness of the specimen is not uniform, the coupling (interference) of the direct and diffracted beams occurs over different distances, thus producing a thickness effect. Don’t confuse diffraction contrast due to thickness changes with mass-thickness contrast discussed in the previous chapter. The effects are very different. The diffraction contrast changes with small changes in tilt, but the mass-thickness contrast doesn’t.


Diffract Beam Wedge Angle Thickness Effect Bloch Wave Bragg Condition 
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Some Specific Reading

  1. Gibson, JM, Hull, R, Bean, JC and Treacy, MMJ 1985 Elastic Relaxation in Transmission Electron Microscopy of Strained-Layer Superlattices Appl. Phys. Lett. 46(7) 649–651. Shows the effect of surface relaxation on the contrast from superlattices.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Rackham, GM and Eades, JA 1977 Specimen Contamination in the Electron Microscope When Small Probes are Used Optik 47(2) 226–232. Example of using CBED for real-space crystallographic analysis.Google Scholar
  3. Susnitzky, DW and Carter, CB 1992 Surface Morphology of Heat-Treated Ceramic Thin Films J. Am. Ceram. Soc. 75(9) 2463–2478. An overview of the surface morphology of heat-treated ceramic thin films studied using TEM.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of Alabama in HuntsvilleHuntsvilleUSA
  2. 2.University of ConnecticutStorrsUSA

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