Single atom detection from low contrast-to-noise ratio electron microscopy images

J. Fatermans, A. J. Den Dekker, K. Müller-Caspary, I. Lobato, C.M. O’Leary, P.D. Nellist, S. Van Aert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)
68 Downloads (Pure)


Single atom detection is of key importance to solving a wide range of scientific and technological problems. The strong interaction of electrons with matter makes transmission electron microscopy one of the most promising techniques. In particular, aberration correction using scanning transmission electron microscopy has made a significant step forward toward detecting single atoms. However, to overcome radiation damage, related to the use of high-energy electrons, the incoming electron dose should be kept low enough. This results in images exhibiting a low signal-to-noise ratio and extremely weak contrast, especially for light-element nanomaterials. To overcome this problem, a combination of physics-based model fitting and the use of a model-order selection method is proposed, enabling one to detect single atoms with high reliability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number056101
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2018


Dive into the research topics of 'Single atom detection from low contrast-to-noise ratio electron microscopy images'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this