Chapter 4.3 Diffuse scattering in electron diffraction

Reciprocal space

Second Online Edition (2010)

Part 4. Diffuse scattering and related topics

  1. J. M. Cowley1,
  2. J. K. Gjønnes2

Published Online: 1 JUN 2010

DOI: 10.1107/97809553602060000775

International Tables for Crystallography

International Tables for Crystallography

How to Cite

Cowley, J. M. and Gjønnes, J. K. 2010. Diffuse scattering in electron diffraction. International Tables for Crystallography. B:4:4.3:540–546.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Arizona State University, Box 871504, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Tempe, AZ 85287-1504, USA

  2. 2

    Institute of Physics, University of Oslo, PO Box 1048, N-0316 Oslo 3, Norway

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 JUN 2010


Diffuse scattering in electron diffraction arises from inelastic scattering due to electronic excitations, from thermal diffuse scattering and from scattering from crystal defects or disorder. Thermal diffuse scattering and scattering from defects or disorder may be treated using the kinematical approximation. The most prominent contribution to the diffuse background in electron diffraction, however, is the inelastic scattering at low angles. This scattering can only be described using the kinematical approximation if the crystal is very thin and composed of light elements. For other specimens, Bragg scattering and multiple diffuse scattering have to be taken into account using a dynamical scattering model. Multislice calculations for diffraction and imaging, and the qualitative interpretation of the diffuse scattering of electrons, are also discussed.


  • diffuse scattering;
  • electron diffraction;
  • electron-microscope imaging;
  • inelastic scattering;
  • kinematical scattering;
  • dynamical scattering effects;
  • multislice calculations