We have utilized bright-field conventional transmission electron microscopy tomography and annular dark-field scanning transmission electron microscopy (ADF-STEM) tomography to characterize a well-defined carbon black (CB)-filled polymer nanocomposite with known CB volume concentration. For both imaging methods, contrast can be generated between the CB and the surrounding polymer matrix. The involved contrast mechanisms, in particular for ADF-STEM, will be discussed in detail. The obtained volume reconstructions were analysed and the CB volume concentrations were carefully determined from the reconstructed data. For both imaging modes, the measured CB volume concentrations are substantially different and only quantification based on the ADF-STEM data revealed about the same value as the known CB loading. Moreover, when applying low-convergence angles for imaging ADF-STEM tomography, data can be obtained of micrometrethick samples.
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Materials and Interface Chemistry
Facility/equipment: Research lab