Position-sensitive change in the transition metal L-edge fine structures.
journal contributionposted on 02.11.2016, 00:00 by A Gulec, PJ Phillips, RF Klie
Studying the structure and composition of solid-state materials on the atomic scale has become nearly routine in transmission electron microscopy with the development of novel electron optics and electron sources. In particular, with spatial resolutions better than 0.1 nm and energy resolution smaller than 100 meV, the stoichiometry, bonding, and coordination can now be examined on similar scales. Aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy and electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS) have played a crucial role in identifying charge ordering, valence, and as spin state transitions in transition metal perovskite oxides. In this letter, we investigate the effects of ever-decreasing electron-probe sizes on the measured near-edge fine-structure of the transition metal core-loss edge using EELS. We find that for certain transition metal perovskites, the position of the electron probe with respect to the atomic column is crucial in determining the correct valence state. Several reasons for the observed position-sensitive EELS fine-structure are discussed.