Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) enable the visualization of three-dimensional (3D) microstructures ranging from atomic to micrometer scales using 3D reconstruction techniques based on computed tomography algorithms. This 3D microscopy method is called electron tomography (ET) and has been utilized in the fields of materials science and engineering for more than two decades. Although atomic resolution is one of the current topics in ET research, the development and deployment of intermediate-resolution (non-atomic-resolution) ET imaging methods have garnered considerable attention from researchers. This research trend is probably not irrelevant due to the fact that the spatial resolution and functionality of 3D imaging methods of scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray microscopy have come to overlap with those of ET. In other words, there may be multiple ways to carry out 3D visualization using different microscopy methods for nanometer-scale objects in materials. From the above standpoint, this review paper aims to (i) describe the current status and issues of intermediate-resolution ET with regard to enhancing the effectiveness of TEM/STEM imaging and (ii) discuss promising applications of state-of-the-art intermediate-resolution ET for materials research with a particular focus on diffraction contrast ET for crystalline microstructures (superlattice domains and dislocations) including a demonstration of in situ dislocation tomography.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Structural Biology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging