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Chin. Phys. B, 2018, Vol. 27(6): 066107    DOI: 10.1088/1674-1056/27/6/066107
Special Issue: TOPICAL REVIEW — Electron microscopy methods for emergent materials and life sciences
TOPICAL REVIEW—Electron microscopy methods for the emergent materials and life sciences Prev   Next  

Scanning transmission electron microscopy: A review of high angle annular dark field and annular bright field imaging and applications in lithium-ion batteries

Yu-Xin Tong(仝毓昕)1,2, Qing-Hua Zhang(张庆华)1, Lin Gu(谷林)1,2
1 Beijing National Laboratory for Condensed Matter Physics, Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China;
2 School of Physical Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China

Scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) has been shown as powerful tools for material characterization, especially after the appearance of aberration-corrector which greatly enhances the resolution of STEM. High angle annular dark field (HAADF) and annular bright field (ABF) imaging of the aberration-corrected STEM are widely used due to their high-resolution capabilities and easily interpretable image contrasts. However, HAADF mode of the STEM is still limited in detecting light elements due to the weak electron-scattering power. ABF mode of the STEM could detect light and heavy elements simultaneously, providing unprecedented opportunities for probing unknown structures of materials. Atomic-level structure investigation of materials has been achieved by means of these imaging modes, which is invaluable in many fields for either improving properties of materials or developing new materials. This paper aims to provide a introduction of HAADF and ABF imaging techniques and reviews their applications in characterization of cathode materials, study of electrochemical reaction mechanisms, and exploring the effective design of lithium-ion batteries (LIBs). The future prospects of the STEM are also discussed.

Keywords:  scanning transmission electron microscopy      high angle annular dark field      annular bright field      lithium-ion batteries  
Received:  15 November 2017      Revised:  21 December 2017      Accepted manuscript online: 
PACS:  61.50.Ks (Crystallographic aspects of phase transformations; pressure effects)  
  68.37.Ma (Scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM))  
  82.45.Fk (Electrodes)  
  82.47.Aa (Lithium-ion batteries)  

Project supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (Grant No.2014CB921002),the Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant No.XDB07030200),and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos.51522212,51421002,and 51672307).

Corresponding Authors:  Qing-Hua Zhang, Lin Gu     E-mail:;

Cite this article: 

Yu-Xin Tong(仝毓昕), Qing-Hua Zhang(张庆华), Lin Gu(谷林) Scanning transmission electron microscopy: A review of high angle annular dark field and annular bright field imaging and applications in lithium-ion batteries 2018 Chin. Phys. B 27 066107

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