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Open Access Direct Imaging of Lithium Ions Using Aberration-Corrected Annular-Bright-Field Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy and Associated Contrast Mechanisms

The vast potential and fast development of implementing lithium-based batteries as an alternative power source to replace the existing low-efficiency and environmental-hazardous materials have urged an ever expediting pace for investigation of the corresponding characterization methods, in particular to observe lithium ions at atomic scale. Here we demonstrate a feasible annular-bright-field (ABF) imaging method based on aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy to observe lithium ions directly at atomic resolution using LiFePO4, a positive electrode material routinely used, for a case study. In addition, we performed extensive image simulations, including the influences from specimen thickness, high tension, illumination angle, collection angle, material vacancy and lattice distortion, to compare and interpret explicitly the displayed image contrast and the attainable optimum operation conditions.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2011

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  • Materials Express is a peer-reviewed multidisciplinary journal reporting emerging researches on materials science, engineering, technology and biology. Cutting-edge researches on the synthesis, characterization, properties, and applications of a very wide range of materials are covered for broad readership; from physical sciences to life sciences. In particular, the journal aims to report advanced materials with interesting electronic, magnetic, optical, mechanical and catalytic properties for industrial applications.
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