Analysis of three-dimensional atom-probe data by the proximity histogram

Olof C. Hellman*, Justin A. Vandenbroucke, Jörg Rüsing, Dieter Isheim, David N. Seidman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

629 Scopus citations


The three-dimensional (3D) atom-probe technique produces a reconstruction of the elemental chemical identities and three-dimensional positions of atoms field evaporated from a sharply pointed metal specimen, with a local radius of curvature of less than 50 nm. The number of atoms collected can be on the order of one million, representing an analysis volume of approximately 20 nm × 20 nm × 200 nm (80,000 nm3). This large amount of data allows for the identification of microstructural features in a sample, such as grain or heterophase boundaries, if the feature density is large enough. Correlation of the measured atomic positions with these identified features results in an atom-by-atom description of the chemical environment of crystallographic defects. This article outlines a data compilation technique for the generation of composition profiles in the vicinity of interfaces in a geometrically independent way. This approach is applied to quantitative determination of interfacial segregation of silver at a MgO/Cu(Ag) heterophase interface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)437-444
Number of pages8
JournalMicroscopy and Microanalysis
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2000


  • Ceramic/metal interfaces
  • Cu
  • Data analysis
  • Gibbsian interfacial excess
  • Heterophase interface
  • MgO
  • Proxigram
  • Segregation
  • Three-dimensional atom-probe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation


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