A connection between microscopic structure and macroscopic properties is expected for almost all material systems. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy is a technique offering insight into the atomic structure, but the analysis of large image series can be time consuming. The present work describes a method to automatically estimate the atomic structure in two-dimensional materials. As an example graphene is chosen, in which the positions of the carbon atoms are reconstructed. Lattice parameters are extracted in the frequency domain and an initial atom positioning is estimated. Next, a plausible neighborhood structure is estimated. Finally, atom positions are adjusted by simulation of a Markov random field model, integrating image evidence and the strong geometric prior. A pristine sample with high regularity and a sample with an induced hole are analyzed. False discovery rate-controlled large-scale simultaneous hypothesis testing is used as a statistical framework for interpretation of results. The first sample yields, as expected, a homogeneous distribution of carbon–carbon (C–C) bond lengths. The second sample exhibits regions of shorter C–C bond lengths with a preferred orientation, suggesting either strain in the structure or a buckling of the graphene sheet. The precision of the method is demonstrated on simulated model structures and by its application to multiple exposures of the two graphene samples.
Microscopy and Microanalysis, 2014, Vol 20, Issue 6, p. 1772-1781
Graphene; Structure identification; Grid matching; Markov random fields; HRTEM