Direct electric field imaging of graphene defects



Ryo Ishikawa, Scott D. Findlay, Takehito Seki, Gabriel Sánchez-Santolino, Yuji Kohno, Yuichi Ikuhara & Naoya Shibata



Material properties are sensitive to atomistic structure defects such as vacancies or impurities, and it is therefore important to determine not only the local atomic configuration but also their chemical bonding state. Annular dark-field scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) combined with electron energy-loss spectroscopy has been utilized to investigate the local electronic structures of such defects down to the level of single atoms. However, it is still challenging to two-dimensionally map the local bonding states, because the electronic fine-structure signal from a single atom is extremely weak. Here, we show that atomic-resolution differential phase-contrast STEM imaging can directly visualize the anisotropy of single Si atomic electric fields in monolayer graphene. We also visualize the atomic electric fields of Stone–Wales defects and nanopores in graphene. Our results open the way to directly examine the local chemistry of the defective structures in materials at atomistic dimensions.



Nature Communications :