Optimal acceleration voltage for near-atomic resolution imaging of layer-stacked 2D polymer thin films

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Despite superb instrumental resolution in modern transmission electron microscopes (TEM), high-resolution imaging of organic two-dimensional (2D) materials is a formidable task. Here, we present that the appropriate selection of the incident electron energy plays a crucial role in reducing the gap between achievable resolution in the image and the instrumental limit. Among a broad range of electron acceleration voltages (300 kV, 200 kV, 120 kV, and 80 kV) tested, we found that the highest resolution in the HRTEM image is achieved at 120 kV, which is 1.9 Å. In two imine-based 2D polymer thin films, unexpected molecular interstitial defects were unraveled. Their structural nature is identified with the aid of quantum mechanical calculations. Furthermore, the increased image resolution and enhanced image contrast at 120 kV enabled the detection of functional groups at the pore interfaces. The experimental setup has also been employed for an amorphous organic 2D material.


Original languageEnglish
Article number3948
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

External IDs

PubMed 35803950