Determining on-axis crystal thickness with quantitative position-averaged incoherent bright-field signal in an aberration-corrected STEM

Huolin L. Xin, Ye Zhu, David A. Muller

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


An accurate determination of specimen thickness is essential for quantitative analytical electron microscopy. Here we demonstrate that a position-averaged incoherent bright-field signal recorded on an absolute scale can be used to determine the thickness of on-axis crystals with a precision of ±1.6 nm. This method measures both the crystalline and the noncrystalline parts (surface amorphous layers) of the sample. However, it avoids the systematic error resulting from surface plasmon contributions to the inelastic mean-free-path thickness estimated by electron energy loss spectroscopy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)720-727
Number of pages8
JournalMicroscopy and Microanalysis
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • incoherent bright-field signal
  • position averaging
  • quantitative microscopy
  • STEM
  • thickness determination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation

Cite this