Modern electronics research often relies on nanometer-scale characterization of electric and magnetic properties. Differential phase contrast STEM (DPC-STEM) is used to perform such tasks, allowing you to image the strength and distribution of magnetic fields in and around your sample, and directly display the magnetic domain structure. What makes this technique so valuable is its ability to directly image complex materials used in data storage and electronic devices.
DPC-STEM has applications in a number of research areas. In the field of spintronics, it is often important to determine the micro-magnetic state of sub-micrometer patterned magnetic materials. In optoelectronics, quantum wells in non-centrosymmetric materials cause strong piezoelectric fields that modify the band structure of these devices. These spintronics and optoelectronics materials require thorough characterization to be fully understood, a capability unique to DPC-STEM.
The technique is not just limited to magnetic samples. Polarized materials and films exert a similar influence on the electron beam as materials containing an intrinsic electric field. DPC-STEM can reveal critical information on the charge distribution of bonds, across interfaces, and at surfaces, potentially leading to the discovery of new aspects of a material’s physical properties.
DPC-STEM is available on Thermo Scientific Talos S/TEM and Spectra S/TEM platforms with the four-segment design of the (Panther) STEM Detector. Combined with Thermo Scientific Velox Software, these instruments give you the option of live DPC acquisition that’s fully integrated into the user interface.
Novel materials are investigated at increasingly smaller scales for maximum control of their physical and chemical properties. Electron microscopy provides researchers with key insight into a wide variety of material characteristics at the micro- to nano-scale.
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