A New Approach for Electron Tomography: Annular Dark-Field Transmission Electron Microscopy


  • We thank Prof. A. P. Alivisatos and Prof. X. Zhang for provision of the samples. The authors acknowledge support of the staff at EMAT and NCEM. Furthermore, we also thank S. Maas for the permission to use his visualization software and Prof. H. Zandbergen for the use of his tomography holder. This study would have been impossible without the help of D. Tang at FEI. Part of this work was supported by the Director, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, of the US Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC03-76SF00098. S. B. is grateful to the Fund for Scientific Research-Flanders.


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Annular dark-field transmission electron microscopy uses an annular objective aperture that blocks the central beam and all electrons scattered up to a certain semiangle. A contrast suitable for electron tomography is generated and 3D reconstructions of CdTe tetrapods and C nanotubes (see figure) are successfully obtained. With short exposure times and high contrast, the technique could be useful not only for materials science, but also for biological applications.