Accessible Requires Authentication Published by Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag January 24, 2013

Electron crystallography as a complement to X-ray powder diffraction techniques

Lynne McCusker and Christian Baerlocher
From the journal


Electron microscopy techniques yield information for crystal structure analysis that is remarkably complementary to that obtained from X-ray powder diffraction data. Structures of polycrystalline materials that resist solution by either method alone can sometimes be solved by combining the two. For example, the intensities extracted from an X-ray powder diffraction pattern are kinematical and can be interpreted easily, while those obtained from a typical selected area electron diffraction (SAED) or precession electron diffraction (PED) pattern are at least partially dynamical and therefore more difficult to use directly. On the other hand, many reflections in a powder diffraction pattern overlap and only the sum of their intensities can be measured, while those in an electron diffraction pattern are from a single crystal and therefore well separated in space. Although the intensities obtained from either SAED or PED data are less reliable than those obtained with X-rays, they can be used to advantage to improve the initial partitioning of the intensities of overlapping reflections. However, it is the partial crystallographic phase information that can be extracted either from high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) images or from PED data that has proven to be particularly useful in combination with high-resolution X-ray powder diffraction data. The dual-space (reciprocal and real space) structure determination programs Focus and Superflip have been shown to be especially useful for combining the two different types of data.

* Correspondence address: ETH Zurich, Laboratory of Crystallography, Rämistrasse 101, 8092 Zürich, Schweiz,

Published Online: 2013-01-24
Published in Print: 2013-01

© by Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag, München, Germany