Electron Diffraction

Electron diffraction example

Example of electron diffraction


Another particulate radiation usable for diffraction on crystalline materials is electron radiation. It has the big advantage that due to their very short wavelength (0.02 – 0.03 Å) they give rise to very high resolution in the diffraction patterns. Additionally, they interact strongly with matter, so that electron diffraction can be used for extremely small crystals.

On the other hand, due to their strong interaction with matter, electrons can only be used in vacuum, which affects the stability of some samples. Electron diffraction is generally performed using an electron microscope, in which an electron beam is generated for the imaging.

As a major drawback, the sample is normally prepared on a sample holder limiting the manoeuvrability of the crystal and thus the accessibility of the three dimensional space of diffraction. However, if no structure can be obtained in any different way, electron diffraction is the way to go.








U. Kolb, T. Gorelik, C. Kübel, M.T. Otten, and D. Hubert, Ultramicroscopy, 107, 507-513 (2007)