Quantifying leakage fields at ionic grain boundaries using off-axis electron holography

Xin Xu*, Frank Barrows, Vinayak P. Dravid, Sossina M. Haile, Charudatta Phatak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The electrical properties of interfaces in semiconductors and ionic conductors are immensely important in a wide range of applications. Electron holography is ideally suited for the direct measurement of the electrostatic potential of such interfaces. A key challenge with this approach is the contribution of the leakage field from the sample to the observed electron phase shift. This leakage field cannot be a priori independently determined and can cause an overestimation of the phase shift. In this work, we use finite element simulations to compute the three-dimensional electrostatic potential in the vicinity of an interface associated with a given interfacial charge density distribution. We then evaluate the predicted phase shift and demonstrate that the leakage field strongly affects the recovery of the projected interface potential. From the difference between the true potential and uncorrected, recovered potential, we propose a method to correct for this effect. We then demonstrate the application of this methodology to the analysis of experimental off-axis electron holography data acquired from the grain boundaries in lightly doped ceria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number214301
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number21
StatePublished - Dec 7 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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