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Quantitative Phase Retrieval in Transmission Electron Microscopy Open Access


Other title
Holographic Visibility
Phase resolution
Electron coherence
Coherence loss by inelastic scattering
Noise-transfer Function (NTF)
Reference Images
Modulation-transfer Function (MTF)
Phase error
Incomplete Read-out
Off-axis Electron holography
Complex Circular Random Variables (CCRV)
Quantitative Electron Microscopy
Gaussian random-walk
Hologram Series
Transmission electron microscope (TEM)
Detector Quantum Efficiency (DQE)
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
McLeod, Robert A.
Supervisor and department
Freeman, Mark (Physics)
Malac, Marek (Physics)
Egerton, Ray (Physics)
Examining committee member and department
Ivey, Doug (Materials Science)
Meldrum, Al (Physics)
Smith, David (Physics, University of Arizona)
Department of Physics

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Phase retrieval in the transmission electron microscope offers the unique potential to collect quantitative data regarding the electric and magnetic properties of materials at the nanoscale. Substantial progress in the field of quantitative phase imaging was made by improvements to the technique of off-axis electron holography. In this thesis, several breakthroughs have been achieved that improve the quantitative analysis of phase retrieval. An accurate means of measuring the electron wavefront coherence in two-dimensions was developed and pratical applications demonstrated. The detector modulation-transfer function (MTF) was assessed by slanted-edge, noise, and the novel holographic techniques. It was shown the traditional slanted-edge technique underestimates the MTF. In addition, progress was made in dark and gain reference normalization of images, and it was shown that incomplete read-out is a concern for slow-scan CCD detectors. Last, the phase error due to electron shot noise was reduced by the technique of summation of hologram series. The phase error, which limits the finest electric and magnetic phenomena which can be investigated, was reduced by over 900 % with no loss of spatial resolution. Quantitative agreement between the experimental root-mean-square phase error and the analytical prediction of phase error was achieved.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication
R.A. McLeod, M. Malac, Characterization of detector modulation-transfer function with noise, edge, and holographic methods, Ultramicroscopy, 129 (2013) 42-52.

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