Charging of carbon thin films in scanning and phase-plate transmission electron microscopy

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article – Annual report year: 2018Researchpeer-review

  • Author: Hettler, Simon

    Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

  • Author: Kano, Emi

    University of Alberta, Canada

  • Author: Dries, Manuel

    Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

  • Author: Gerthsen, Dagmar

    Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

  • Author: Pfaffmann, Lukas

    Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

  • Author: Bruns, Michael

    Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

  • Author: Beleggia, Marco

    Technical University of Denmark

    Center for Electron Nanoscopy, Technical University of Denmark, Fysikvej, Denmark

  • Author: Malac, Marek

    University of Alberta, Canada

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A systematic study on charging of carbon thin films under intense electron-beam irradiation was performed in a transmission electron microscope to identify the underlying physics for the functionality of hole-free phase plates. Thin amorphous carbon films fabricated by different deposition techniques and single-layer graphene were studied. Clean thin films at moderate temperatures show small negative charging while thin films kept at an elevated temperature are stable and not prone to beam-generated charging. The charging is attributed to electron-stimulated desorption (ESD) of chemisorbed water molecules from the thin-film surfaces and an accompanying change of work function. The ESD interpretation is supported by experimental results obtained by electron-energy loss spectroscopy, hole-free phase plate imaging, secondary electron detection and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy as well as simulations of the electrostatic potential distribution. The described ESD-based model explains previous experimental findings and is of general interest to any phase-related technique in a transmission electron microscope.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)252-266
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2018
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: No match on DOI

    Research areas

  • Scanning transmission electron microscopy, Transmission electron microscopy, Electron-beam induced charging, Thin film, Phase plate, Radiation damage, Hole-free phase plate, Volta phase plate
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ID: 138358653