2. Visualizing materials properties in nano-scale by electron spectroscopic methods

Visualizing materials properties in nano-scale by electron spectroscopic methods

  • Institute of Materials and Systems for Sustainability
  • Advanced Measurement Technology Center
  • Electron Nanoscopy Section

Shunsuke Muto [Professor]


Outline of Seeds

Various physical/chemical properties of functional materials including metals, semiconductors, ceramics and polymers are quantitatively analyzed and their spatial distributions are mapped in nano-scale, using a scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM) equipped with electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS), energy/wavelength dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX/WDX) and cathodoluminescence (CL).

Novelty and originality of this research

Unlike the conventional STEM analysis, we collect a large number of datasets as functions of spatial coordinates and/or diffraction conditions, followed by applying statistical treatments to extract the underlying spectral components corresponding to the constituent chemical/physical properties without any reference spectra. We also developed a novel method to specify the site occupancies of dopants/impurities as well as their valence states.

Application and research area for Industry collaboration

Several examples of former analyses we did: degradation analysis of lithium ion secondary battery cathodes; redox reaction active site analysis of ceramics-supported fine metallic particle catalysts; site occupancy analysis of a trace element dopant in a ferrite material; TEM observation of a mixture of different polymers without dyeing; chemical bonding analysis of hard coating membrane; cross-sectional analysis of automotive tires; functional analysis of dielectric materials interfaces...etc.

Key Takeaway

We are offering you 'tailor-made' analysis methods, depending on your demands, for yet unknown/unsolved problems, taking the most use of techniques related to transmission electron microscopy.


scanning transmission electron microscopy, electron energy-loss spectroscopy, energy/wavelength dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, cathodoluminescence, nano-materials, image processing, statistical treatment


  • elemental/chemical propeties mapping in nano-scale by STEM-EELS/EDX/CL
  • atomic site occupancy analysis of dopants/impurities
  • orbital/spin momenta measurement of ferromagnetic materials at nano-resolution
  • hidden information extraction by various statistical and image processing methods


  • Integrated spectroscopic STEM equipped with EELS, EDX/WDX, CL and BSE detectors, various ana;lysis softwares

Monographs, Papers and Articles

  • Diagnostic nano-analysis of materials properties by multivariate curve resolution applied to spectrum images by S/TEM-EELS, S. Muto, et al, Mater. Trans. 50 (2009) 964-969
  • Capacity-fading mechanism of LiNiO2-based Lithium-ion batteries: II. Diagnostic analysis by electron microscopy and spectroscopy, S. Muto et al, J. Electrochem Soc. 156 (2009) A371-A377
  • Quantitative determination of site occupancy of multi-rare-earth elements doped into Ca2SnO4 phosphor by electron channeling microanalysis, S. Muto et al, J. Solid State Chem. 183 (2010) 2127-2132
  • Quantitative characterization of nanoscale polycrystalline magnets with electron magnetic circular dichroism, S. Muto et al, Nature Communications, vol. 5, 3138 (2014)