Abstract

Deriving accurate three-dimensional (3-D) structural information of materials at the nanometre level is often crucial for understanding their properties. Tomography in transmission electron microscopy (TEM) is a powerful technique that provides such information. It is however demanding and sometimes inapplicable, as it requires the acquisition of multiple images within a large tilt arc and hence prolonged exposure to electrons. In some cases, prior knowledge about the structure can tremendously simplify the 3-D reconstruction if incorporated adequately. Here, a novel algorithm is presented that is able to produce a full 3-D reconstruction of curvilinear structures from stereo pair of TEM images acquired within a small tilt range that spans from only a few to tens of degrees. Reliability of the algorithm is demonstrated through reconstruction of a model 3-D object from its simulated projections, and is compared with that of conventional tomography. This method is experimentally demonstrated for the 3-D visualization of dislocation arrangements in a deformed metallic micro-pillar. (C) 2017 Published by Elsevier B.V.

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