Advanced Materials Characterization
Scientists and engineers studying a vast variety of materials, such as metals, catalysts, batteries, polymers, ceramics and composites, need nanoscale materials characterization in three dimensions. Full 3D characterization includes the need for chemical as well as imaging data, making 3D EDS an indispensable technique in the new world of materials research. For the highest quality results, instrumentation with dynamic high-resolution imaging capabilities as well as fast and quantitative data acquisition is therefore required. The combination of flexibility in sample imaging optimization, the ability to easily utilize different imaging acquisition schemes, such as TEM and STEM, and the fast and highly sensitive collection of the elemental distribution data are prerequisites for capturing the real 3D structure of nanomaterials.
In this application note, we show the importance of having fast, clean & high yield EDS capability to fully characterize the 3D chemical composition of a variety of nanomaterials. The EDS tomography application use cases presented cover a wide range of resolution and field of view - ranging from a few hundred down to a few nanometers. To study the nanomaterials, we employed the new FEI Talos™ 200 kV analytical FEG S/TEM, which includes the patented FEI Super-X integrated, automated EDS system with four silicon drift detectors (SDDs) for superior sensitivity and mapping capabilities. Visualization and reconstruction was done using FEI Inspect 3D and Avizo® software.
In the following application examples, researchers made use of the automated 3D EDS capabilities of the Talos, enabling them to pre-select a range of parameters in the operating software, e.g. mapping conditions (either selecting high throughput, high quality or a balanced combination of both as the most important criterion for the dataset), drift compensation, and detector parameters, in addition to the ability to set conditions for auto focus and auto tilt. This level of automation means that the operators set up the EDS tomography and then left the system unattended for the complete data acquisition process.