True Atomic-Scale Imaging in Three Dimensions: A Review of the Rebirth of Field-Ion Microscopy

Francois Vurpillot*, Frédéric Danoix, Matthieu Gilbert, Sebastian Koelling, Michal Dagan, David N. Seidman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


This article reviews recent advances utilizing field-ion microscopy (FIM) to extract atomic-scale three-dimensional images of materials. This capability is not new, as the first atomic-scale reconstructions of features utilizing FIM were demonstrated decades ago. The rise of atom probe tomography, and the application of this latter technique in place of FIM has unfortunately severely limited further FIM development. Currently, the ubiquitous availability of extensive computing power makes it possible to treat and reconstruct FIM data digitally and this development allows the image sequences obtained utilizing FIM to be extremely valuable for many material science and engineering applications. This article demonstrates different applications of these capabilities, focusing on its use in physical metallurgy and semiconductor science and technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)210-220
Number of pages11
JournalMicroscopy and Microanalysis
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017


  • Field-ion microscopy
  • point defects
  • tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation

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