Electron diffraction characterization of nanocrystalline materials using a Rietveld-based approach. Part I. Methodology

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Marco E. Ciriotti
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Electron diffraction characterization of nanocrystalline materials using a Rietveld-based approach. Part I. Methodology

Messaggio da Marco E. Ciriotti » ven 05 ago, 2022 22:21

Referenza:
▪ Sinha, A., Bortolotti, M., Ischia, G., Lutterotti, L., Gialanella, S. (2022): Electron diffraction characterization of nanocrystalline materials using a Rietveld-based approach. Part I. Methodology. Journal of Applied Crystallography, 55, 953-965.

Abstract:
Transmission electron microscopy is a powerful experimental tool, very effective for the complete characterization of nanocrystalline materials by employing a combination of imaging, spectroscopy and diffraction techniques. Electron powder diffraction (EPD) pattern fingerprinting in association with chemical information from spectroscopy can be used to deduce the identity of the crystalline phases. Furthermore, EPD has similar potential to X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD) for extracting additional information regarding material specimens, such as microstructural features and defect structures. The aim of this paper is to extend a full-pattern fitting procedure, broadly used for analysing XRPD patterns, to EPD. The interest of this approach is twofold: in the first place, the relatively short times involved with data acquisition allow one to speed up the characterization procedures. This is a particularly interesting aspect in the case of metastable structures or kinetics studies. Moreover, the reduced sampling volumes involved with electron diffraction analyses can better reveal surface alteration layers in the analysed specimen which might be completely overlooked by conventional bulk techniques. The first step forward to have an effective application of the proposed methodology concerns establishing a reliable calibration protocol to take into correct account the instrumental effects and thus separate them from those determined by the structure, microstructure and texture of the analysed samples. In this paper, the methodology for determining the instrumental broadening of the diffraction lines is demonstrated through a full quantitative analysis based on the Rietveld refinement of the EPD. In this regard, a CeO2 nanopowder reference specimen has been used. The results provide indications also on the specific features that a good calibration standard should have.
Marco E. Ciriotti

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