Quantitative fluctuation electron microscopy in the STEM: Methods to identify, avoid, and correct for artifacts

Tian T. Li, Stephanie N. Bogle, John R. Abelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fluctuation electron microscopy can reveal the nanoscale order in amorphous materials via the statistical variance in the scattering intensity as a function of position, scattering vector, and resolution. However, several sources of experimental artifacts can seriously affect the magnitude of the variance peaks. The use of a scanning transmission electron microscope for data collection affords a convenient means to check whether artifacts are present. As nanodiffraction patterns are collected in serial, any spatial or temporal dependence of the scattering intensity across the series can easily be detected. We present examples of the major types of artifact and methods to correct the data or to avoid the problem experimentally. We also re-cast the statistical formalism used to identify sources of noise in view of the present results. The present work provides a basis on which to perform fluctuation electron microscopy with a high level of reliability and confidence in the quantitative magnitude of the data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1605-1618
Number of pages14
JournalMicroscopy and Microanalysis
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 11 2014


  • amorphous
  • artifact correction
  • coherence
  • fluctuation electron microscopy
  • medium-range order
  • quantitative analysis
  • scanning transmission electron microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation


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