Inclusion of radiation damage dynamics in high-resolution transmission electron microscopy image simulations: The example of graphene

Adriano Santana, Alberto Zobelli, Jani Kotakoski, Audrey Chuvilin (Korresp. Autor*in), Elena Bichoutskaia (Korresp. Autor*in)

Veröffentlichungen: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelPeer Reviewed


Computer image simulations provide a crucial aid to high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) in gaining fundamental understanding of the structure of materials. Interpretation of HRTEM images is, however, complicated due to continuous structure deformation caused by the imaging electron beam. A computational methodology has been implemented that takes into account the effects of the electron beam on deformation of sample structure during observation and imaging in HRTEM. The evolution of the sample structure is described as a sequence of externally initiated discrete damage events with a frequency determined by the cross section, which depends on the energy of the electron beam. A series of images showing structure evolution with time is obtained by coupling molecular dynamics simulations with the image simulation. These simulation parts are linked by two experimental parameters: the energy of the electron beam and the electron dose rate. As the energy of the electron beam also determines resolution and contrast of the obtained HRTEM image, a careful selection of its value is required to achieve a fine balance between reduction of the sample damage caused by the electron beam and the quality of the acquired image. The proposed computational approach is used to simulate the recently observed process of structural transformation of a small graphene flake into a fullerene cage. The simulated series of images showing the evolution of a graphene flake under the 80 keV electron beam closely reproduces experimental HRTEM images with regard to the structure evolution route, evolution rate, and signal-to-noise ratio. We show that under the increased electron beam energy of 200 keV a similar observation will be obscured by high damage rate or low signal-to-noise ratio.
FachzeitschriftPhysical Review B
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2013

ÖFOS 2012

  • 103018 Materialphysik