Electron tomography requires a wide angular range of specimen-tilt for a reliable three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction. Although specimen holders are commercially available for tomography, they have several limitations, including tilting capability in only one or two axes at most, e.g. tilt-rotate. For amorphous specimens, the image contrast depends on mass and thickness only and the single-tilt holder is adequate for most tomographic image acquisitions. On the other hand, for crystalline materials where image contrast is strongly dependent on diffraction conditions, current commercially available tomography holders are inadequate, because they lack tilt capability in all three orthogonal axes needed to maintain a constant diffraction condition over the whole tilt range. We have developed a high-angle triple-axis (HATA) tomography specimen holder capable of high-angle tilting for the primary horizontal axis with tilting capability in the other (orthogonal) horizontal and vertical axes. This allows the user to trim the specimen tilt to obtain the desired diffraction condition over the whole tilt range of the tomography series. To demonstrate its capabilities, we have used this triple-axis tomography holder with a dual-axis tilt series (the specimen was rotated by 90° ex-situ between series) to obtain tomographic reconstructions of dislocation arrangements in plastically deformed austenitic steel foils.
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