Improving Signal-to-Noise Ratio in Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy Energy-Dispersive X-Ray (STEM-EDX) Spectrum Images Using Single-Atomic-Column Cross-Correlation Averaging

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Acquiring an atomic-resolution compositional map of crystalline specimens has become routine practice, thus opening possibilities for extracting subatomic information from such maps. A key challenge for achieving subatomic precision is the improvement of signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of compositional maps. Here, we report a simple and reliable solution for achieving high-SNR energy-dispersive X-ray (EDX) spectroscopy spectrum images for individual atomic columns. The method is based on standard cross-correlation aided by averaging of single-column EDX maps with modifications in the reference image. It produces EDX maps with minimal specimen drift, beam drift, and scan distortions. Step-by-step procedures to determine a self-consistent reference map with a discussion on the reliability, stability, and limitations of the method are presented here.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)536-543
Number of pages8
JournalMicroscopy and Microanalysis
Volume22
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 12 2016

Keywords

  • averaging
  • cross-correlation
  • image processing
  • STEM-EDX
  • subatomic precision

How much support was provided by MRSEC?

  • Primary

Reporting period for MRSEC

  • Period 3

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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