Tables for
Volume H
Powder diffraction
Edited by C. J. Gilmore, J. A. Kaduk and H. Schenk

International Tables for Crystallography (2018). Vol. H, ch. 2.4, p. 114

Section 2.4.8. Summary

J.-M. Zuo,a* J. L. Lábár,b J. Zhang,c T. E. Gorelikd and U. Kolbe

aDepartment of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Illinois, 1304 W. Green Street, Urbana, IL 61801, USA,bInstitute of Technical Physics and Materials Science, Centre for Energy Research, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Konkoly Thege M. u. 29–33, H-1121 Budapest, Hungary,cIntel Corporation, Technology Manufacturing Group, 2501 NE Century Boulevard, Hillsboro, OR 97124, USA,dUniversity of Ulm, Central Facility for Electron Microscopy, Electron Microscopy Group of Materials Science (EMMS), Albert Einstein Allee 11, 89069 Ulm, Germany, and eInstitut für Physikalische Chemie, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Welderweg 11, 55099 Mainz, Germany
Correspondence e-mail:

2.4.8. Summary

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Powder electron diffraction can be used for materials structural characterization, just as is routinely done using X-rays and neutrons. The specific characteristics of electron scattering result in both benefits and drawbacks to using electron diffraction data. Strong scattering of electrons allows collection of a sufficient signal from nanovolumes of material, thus offering the possibility of studying small amounts of material and thin films. The opportunity to couple the diffraction information with imaging gives the unique possibility of performing a structural study on the nanoscale in a controlled way. The strong interaction of electrons with matter leads to dynamical-scattering effects that result in deviation of the electron diffraction intensities from the kinematical model. Since the amount of the dynamical-scattering component in a powder sample is difficult to quantify, the quantitative use of electron diffraction intensity data is limited. For large crystals, the dynamical treatment of electron diffraction data is efficiently done in CBED analysis, providing exclusive information about the structure. For nanocrystalline or amorphous materials, an increasing number of sets of experimental data show that quantitative structure information can be obtained using electron powder diffraction. This encourages further applications of different kinds of electron diffraction data, giving new perspectives for the quantitative use of electron diffraction in general.


Song, K. Y. J., Kim, Y.-J., Kim, Y.-I. & Kim, J.-G. (2012). Application of theta-scan precession electron diffraction to structure analysis of hydroxyapatite nanopowder. J. Electron Microsc. 61, 9–15.Google Scholar

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