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High-Energy Electron Diffraction

  1. Jian-Min Zuo

Published Online: 15 MAR 2008

DOI: 10.1002/0470862106.ia308

Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry

How to Cite

Zuo, J.-M. 2008. High-Energy Electron Diffraction. Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. University of Illinois, Materials Research Laboratory, Urbana, IL, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAR 2008


High-energy electrons have very short wavelengths associated with particle waves and electron diffraction is used to probe the atomic structure of both inorganic and organic materials. Electrons have a large scattering cross section and can be focused into small probes by magnetic lenses. This makes electron diffraction very useful for studying “small” crystals, surfaces, or material's microstructure. The principles and the modern aspects of electron diffraction are described here with the intention to provide an introduction that both the novice and the expert will find useful as a guide for electron diffraction. The chapter starts with an introduction to different electron diffraction techniques. This is followed by the background theories which are useful for the interpretation of diffraction patterns. Experimental procedures are described at the end of the technical background. The applications section has a large collection of examples from relatively straightforward tasks to more advanced ones that are under development for their promises. Experimental details are provided when it is appropriate to give some idea of what it takes to do electron diffraction.


  • electron diffraction;
  • diffraction techniques;
  • diffraction theory;
  • structure determination;
  • nanostructure characterization;
  • high resolution electron microscopy