Synchronous quantitative analysis of chiral mesostructured inorganic crystals by 3D electron diffraction tomography
Jing Ai, Xueliang Zhang, Te Bai, Qing Shen, Peter Oleynikov, Yingying Duan, Osamu Terasaki, Shunai Che & Lu Han
Chiral mesostructures exhibit distinctive twisting and helical hierarchical stacking ranging from atomic to micrometre scales with fascinating structural-chiral anisotropy properties. However, the detailed determination of their multilevel chirality remains challenging due to the limited information from spectroscopy, diffraction techniques, scanning electron microscopy and the two-dimensional projections in transmission electron microscopy. Herein, we report a general approach to determine chiral hierarchical mesostructures based on three-dimensional electron diffraction tomography (3D EDT), by which the structure can be solved synchronously according to the quantitative measurement of diffraction spot deformations and their arrangement in reciprocal space. This method was verified on two samples—chiral mesostructured nickel molybdate and chiral mesostructured tin dioxide—revealing hierarchical chiral structures that cannot be determined by conventional techniques. This approach provides more precise and comprehensive identification of the hierarchical mesostructures, which is expected to advance our understanding of structural–chiral anisotropy at the fundamental level.
synchronous quantitative analysis, chiral, structural-chiral anisotropy