Sampling limitations in electron microscopy questions whether the analysis of a bulk material is representative, especially while analyzing hierarchical morphologies that extend over multiple length scales. We tackled this problem by automatically acquiring a large series of partially overlapping (S)TEM images with sufficient resolution, subsequently stitched together to generate a large-area map using an in-house developed acquisition toolbox (TU/e Acquisition ToolBox) and stitching module (TU/e Stitcher). In addition, we show that quantitative image analysis of the large scale maps provides representative information that can be related to the synthesis and process conditions of hierarchical materials, which moves electron microscopy analysis towards becoming a bulk characterization tool. We demonstrate the power of such an analysis by examining two different multi-phase materials that are structured over multiple length scales.
Materials and Interface Chemistry
Facility/equipment: Research lab
Gnanasekaran, K., Snel, R. C. Q., With, de, G., & Friedrich, H. (2016). Quantitative nanoscopy : tackling sampling limitations in (S)TEM imaging of polymers and composites. Ultramicroscopy, 160, 130-139. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ultramic.2015.10.004