Lattice and strain analysis of atomic resolution Z-contrast images based on template matching

Jian Min Zuo, Amish B. Shah, Honggyu Kim, Yifei Meng, Wenpei Gao, Jean Luc Rouviére

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A real space approach is developed based on template matching for quantitative lattice analysis using atomic resolution Z-contrast images. The method, called TeMA, uses the template of an atomic column, or a group of atomic columns, to transform the image into a lattice of correlation peaks. This is helped by using a local intensity adjusted correlation and by the design of templates. Lattice analysis is performed on the correlation peaks. A reference lattice is used to correct for scan noise and scan distortions in the recorded images. Using these methods, we demonstrate that a precision of few picometers is achievable in lattice measurement using aberration corrected Z-contrast images. For application, we apply the methods to strain analysis of a molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) grown LaMnO3 and SrMnO3 superlattice. The results show alternating epitaxial strain inside the superlattice and its variations across interfaces at the spatial resolution of a single perovskite unit cell. Our methods are general, model free and provide high spatial resolution for lattice analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-60
Number of pages11
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • STEM
  • Strain analysis
  • Template matching
  • Z-contrast

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials


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