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Three-dimensional reconstruction of the ν-AlCrFe phase by electron crystallography

Acta Cryst. (2003). A59, 526–539

[Figure 1] A section of the 3D potential map of ν-AlCrFe obtained by electron crystallography. All atoms are clearly resolved and it is possible to distinguish transition metals (Fe, Cr, strong peaks) from Al (weak peaks).

The most complicated crystal structure ever solved to atomic resolution by electron crystallography is presented in this article. Because of the huge unit cell (ν-AlCrFe, P63/m, a = b = 40.7 Å, c = 12.5 Å), it was necessary to combine crystallographic data from 13 projections to resolve the atoms. Electron microscopy images containing both amplitude and phase information were combined with amplitudes from electron diffraction patterns. 124 of the 129 unique atoms (1176 in the unit cell) were found in the remarkably clean calculated potential maps – see figure. This investigation demonstrates that inorganic crystals of any complexity can be solved by electron crystallography.

X. D. Zou, Z. M. Mo, S. Hovmöller, X. Z. Li and K. H. Kuo