mpfit: a robust method for fitting atomic resolution images with multiple Gaussian peaks

Debangshu Mukherjee, Leixin Miao, Greg Stone, Nasim Alem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The standard technique for sub-pixel estimation of atom positions from atomic resolution scanning transmission electron microscopy images relies on fitting intensity maxima or minima with a two-dimensional Gaussian function. While this is a widespread method of measurement, it can be error prone in images with non-zero aberrations, strong intensity differences between adjacent atoms or in situations where the neighboring atom positions approach the resolution limit of the microscope. Here we demonstrate mpfit, an atom finding algorithm that iteratively calculates a series of overlapping two-dimensional Gaussian functions to fit the experimental dataset and then subsequently uses a subset of the calculated Gaussian functions to perform sub-pixel refinement of atom positions. Based on both simulated and experimental datasets presented in this work, this approach gives lower errors when compared to the commonly used single Gaussian peak fitting approach and demonstrates increased robustness over a wider range of experimental conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1
JournalAdvanced Structural and Chemical Imaging
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Spectroscopy


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