Many advanced nanomaterials rely on carefully designed morphology and elemental distribution to achieve their functionalities. Among the few experimental techniques that can directly visualise the 3D elemental distribution on the nanoscale are approaches based on electron tomography in combination with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDXS) and electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS). Unfortunately, these highly informative methods are severely limited by the fundamentally low signal-to-noise ratio, which makes long experimental times and high electron irradiation doses necessary to obtain reliable 3D reconstructions. Addressing these limitations has been the major research question for the development of these techniques in recent years. This short review outlines the latest progress on the methods to reduce experimental time and electron irradiation dose requirements for 3D elemental distribution analysis and gives an outlook on the development of this field in the near future.

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Journal of Microscopy

Skorikov, A., Batenburg, J., & Bals, S. (2022). Analysis of 3D elemental distribution in nanomaterials: Towards higher throughput and dose efficiency. Journal of Microscopy, 289(3), 157–163. doi:10.1111/jmi.13167