Interpreting nanovoids in atom probe tomography data for accurate local compositional measurements

Xing Wang, Constantinos Hatzoglou, Brian Sneed, Zhe Fan, Wei Guo, Ke Jin, Di Chen, Hongbin Bei, Yongqiang Wang, William J. Weber, Yanwen Zhang, Baptiste Gault, Karren L. More, Francois Vurpillot, Jonathan D. Poplawsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Quantifying chemical compositions around nanovoids is a fundamental task for research and development of various materials. Atom probe tomography (APT) and scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) are currently the most suitable tools because of their ability to probe materials at the nanoscale. Both techniques have limitations, particularly APT, because of insufficient understanding of void imaging. Here, we employ a correlative APT and STEM approach to investigate the APT imaging process and reveal that voids can lead to either an increase or a decrease in local atomic densities in the APT reconstruction. Simulated APT experiments demonstrate the local density variations near voids are controlled by the unique ring structures as voids open and the different evaporation fields of the surrounding atoms. We provide a general approach for quantifying chemical segregations near voids within an APT dataset, in which the composition can be directly determined with a higher accuracy than STEM-based techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1022
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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