941 research outputs found

    Quantitative measurement of orbital angular momentum in electron microscopy

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    Electron vortex beams have been predicted to enable atomic scale magnetic information measurement, via transfer of orbital angular momentum. Research so far has focussed on developing production techniques and applications of these beams. However, methods to measure the outgoing orbital angular momentum distribution are also a crucial requirement towards this goal. Here, we use a method to obtain the orbital angular momentum decomposition of an electron beam, using a multi-pinhole interferometer. We demonstrate both its ability to accurately measure orbital angular momentum distribution, and its experimental limitations when used in a transmission electron microscope.Comment: 6 pages, 5 figure

    Symmetry-constrained electron vortex propagation

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    Electron vortex beams hold great promise for development in transmission electron microscopy, but have yet to be widely adopted. This is partly due to the complex set of interactions that occur between a beam carrying orbital angular momentum (OAM) and a sample. Herein, the system is simplified to focus on the interaction between geometrical symmetries, OAM and topology. We present multiple simulations, alongside experimental data to study the behaviour of a variety of electron vortex beams after interacting with apertures of different symmetries, and investigate the effect on their OAM and vortex structure, both in the far-field and under free-space propagation.Comment: 11 page

    Sub-nanometer free electrons with topological charge

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    The holographic mask technique is used to create freely moving electrons with quantized angular momentum. With electron optical elements they can be focused to vortices with diameters below the nanometer range. The understanding of these vortex beams is important for many applications. Here we present a theory of focused free electron vortices. The agreement with experimental data is excellent. As an immediate application, fundamental experimental parameters like spherical aberration and partial coherence are determined.Comment: 4 pages, 5 figure

    Decadal water balance of a temperate Scots pine forest (Pinus sylvestris L.) based on measurements and modelling

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    We examined the water balance components of an 80-year-old Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) forest stand in the Campine region of Belgium over a ten year period using five very different approaches; our methods ranged from data intensive measurements to process model simulations. Specifically, we used the conservative ion method (CI), the Eddy Covariance technique (EC), an empirical model (WATBAL), and two process models that vary greatly in their temporal and spatial scaling, the ORCHIDEE global land-surface model and SECRETS a stand- to ecosystem-scale biogeochemical process model. Herein we used the EC technique as a standard for the evapotranspiration (ET) estimates. Using and evaluating process based models with data is extremely useful as models are the primary method for integration of small-scale, process level phenomena into comprehensive description of forest stand or ecosystem function. Results demonstrated that the two process models corresponded well to the seasonal patterns and yearly totals of ET from the EC approach. However, both WATBAL and CI approaches overestimated ET when compared to the EC estimates. We found significant relationships between several meteorological variables (i.e., vapour pressure deficit [VPD], mean air temperature [Tair], and global radiation [Rg]) and ET on monthly basis for all approaches. In contrast, few relationships were significant on annual basis. Independent of the method examined, ET exhibited low inter-annual variability. Consequently, drainage fluxes were highly correlated with annual precipitation for all approaches examined, except CI

    Drought-associated changes in climate and their relevance for ecosystem experiments and models

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    Drought periods can have important impacts on plant productivity and ecosystem functioning, but climatic conditions other than the lack of precipitation during droughts have never been quantified and have therefore not been considered explicitly in both experimental and modeling studies. Here, we identify which climatic characteristics deviate from normal during droughts and how these deviations could affect plant responses. Analysis of 609 years of daily data from nine Western European meteorological stations reveals that droughts in the studied region are consistently associated with more sunshine (+45 %), increased mean (+1.6 °C) and maximum (+2.8 °C) air temperatures and vapour pressure deficits that were 51 % higher than under normal conditions. These deviations from normal increase significantly as droughts progress. Using the process-model ORCHIDEE, we simulated droughts consistent with the results of the dataset analysis and compared water and carbon exchange of three different vegetation types during such natural droughts and droughts in which only the precipitation was affected. The comparison revealed contrasting responses: carbon loss was higher under natural drought in grasslands, while increased carbon uptake was found especially in decidious forests. This difference was attributed to better access to water reserves in forest ecosystems which prevented drought stress. This demonstrates that the warmer and sunnier conditions naturally associated with droughts can either improve growth or aggravate drought-related stress, depending on water reserves. As the impacts of including or excluding climatic parameters that correlate with drought are substantial, we propose that both experimental and modeling efforts should take into account other environmental factors than merely precipitation

    Atomic resolution mapping of phonon excitations in STEM-EELS experiments

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    Atomically resolved electron energy-loss spectroscopy experiments are commonplace in modern aberrationcorrected transmission electron microscopes. Energy resolution has also been increasing steadily with the continuous improvement of electron monochromators. Electronic excitations however are known to be delocalised due to the long range interaction of the charged accelerated electrons with the electrons in a sample. This has made several scientists question the value of combined high spatial and energy resolution for mapping interband transitions and possibly phonon excitation in crystals. In this paper we demonstrate experimentally that atomic resolution information is indeed available at very low energy losses around 100 meV expressed as a modulation of the broadening of the zero loss peak. Careful data analysis allows us to get a glimpse of what are likely phonon excitations with both an energy loss and gain part. These experiments confirm recent theoretical predictions on the strong localisation of phonon excitations as opposed to electronic excitations and show that a combination of atomic resolution and recent developments in increased energy resolution will offer great benefit for mapping phonon modes in real space

    Exploiting lens aberrations to create electron vortex beams

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    A model for a new electron vortex beam production method is proposed and experimentally demonstrated. The technique calls on the controlled manipulation of the degrees of freedom of the lens aberrations to achieve a helical phase front. These degrees of freedom are accessible by using the corrector lenses of a transmission electron microscope. The vortex beam is produced through a particular alignment of these lenses into a specifically designed astigmatic state and applying an annular aperture in the condensor plane. Experimental results are found to be in good agreement with simulations.Comment: 5 pages, 4 figure

    Barrier efficiency of sponge-like La2Zr2O7 buffer layers for YBCO-coated conductors

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    Solution derived La2Zr2O7 films have drawn much attention for potential applications as thermal barriers or low-cost buffer layers for coated conductor technology. Annealing and coating parameters strongly affect the microstructure of La2Zr2O7, but different film processing methods can yield similar microstructural features such as nanovoids and nanometer-sized La2Zr2O7 grains. Nanoporosity is a typical feature found in such films and the implications for the functionality of the films is investigated by a combination of scanning transmission electron microscopy, electron energy-loss spectroscopy and quantitative electron tomography. Chemical solution based La2Zr2O7 films deposited on flexible Ni-5at.%W substrates with a {100} biaxial texture were prepared for an in-depth characterization. A sponge-like structure composed of nanometer sized voids is revealed by high-angle annular dark-field scanning transmission electron microscopy in combination with electron tomography. A three-dimensional quantification of nanovoids in the La2Zr2O7 film is obtained on a local scale. Mostly non-interconnected highly facetted nanovoids compromise more than one-fifth of the investigated sample volume. The diffusion barrier efficiency of a 170 nm thick La2Zr2O7 film is investigated by STEM-EELS yielding a 1.8 \pm 0.2 nm oxide layer beyond which no significant nickel diffusion can be detected and intermixing is observed. This is of particular significance for the functionality of YBa2Cu3O7-{\delta} coated conductor architectures based on solution derived La2Zr2O7 films as diffusion barriers.Comment: Accepted for publication in Superconductor Science and Technolog

    Influence of springtime phenology on the ratio of soil respiration to total ecosystem respiration in a mixed temperate forest

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    Total ecosystem (Reco) and soil (Rs) respiration are important CO2 fluxes in the carbon balance of forests. Typically Rs accounts for between 30-80% of Reco, although variation in this ratio has been shown to occur, particularly at seasonal time scales. The objective of this study was to relate changes in Rs/Reco ratio to changing springtime phenological conditions in forest ecosystems. We used one year (2003) of automated and twelve years (1995-2006) of manual chamber-based measurements of Rs. Reco was determined using tower-based eddy covariance measurements for an oak-dominated mixed temperate forest at Harvard Forest, Petersham, MA, USA. Phenological data were obtained from field observations and the JRC fAPAR remote sensing product. The automated and eddy covariance data showed that springtime phenological events do influence the ratio of soil to total ecosystem respiration. During canopy development, Reco rose strongly, mainly the aboveground component, due to the formation of an increasing amount of respiring leaf tissue. An increase in Rs was observed after most of the canopy development, which is probably the consequence of a shift in allocation of photosynthate products from above- to belowground. This hypothesized allocation shift was also confirmed by the results of the twelve year manual chamber-based measurements
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