Digital Super-resolution in the STEM

Combined non-rigid registration & template-matching for low dose-rate high-precision imaging.

ADF STEM Digital Super-resolution

Single coarsely sampled ADF scan (left), and the final multi-frame digital super-resolution restoration (right).

In the scanning transmission electron microscope, any one scanned image can be corrupted by environmental distortions. These environmental distortions can be compensated using multi-image non-rigid registration. However, for data recorded with a large pixel size (coarsely sampled), we can also use this data for digital super-resolution and increase the number of pixels in the field-of-view. This can increase the clarity of the image, improving the signal-noise-ratio and making onward image analysis easier and more precise.

The example above shows an anti-phase boundary in a perovskite structure. The left image is a single scan frame with a coarse pixel sampling, while the right image is the result of combining 8 separate scan-frames (using non-rigid registration) followed by template-matching (34 repeat units) to achieve digital super-resolution. Pixel density was increased by 16x (pixels 4x smaller in x & y) during the processing.

The data above were processed using the SmartAlign software plug-in for Digital Micrograph from HREM Research.

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