A direct imaging of atomic structures is nowadays possible using the high-resolution electron microscope, the field ion microscope, or the tunnel microscope. Nonetheless, when one wishes to determine an unknown structure, or make exact measurements of structural parameters, it is necessary to rely on diffraction experiments. The greater information content of such measurements lies in the fact that the diffraction process is optimally sensitive to the periodic nature of the solid’s atomic structure. Direct imaging techniques, on the other hand, are ideal for investigating point defects, dislocations, and steps, and are also used to study surfaces and interfaces. In other words, they are particularly useful for studying features that represent a disruption of the periodicity.
KeywordsNickel Graphite Platinum Cobalt Helium
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