A quadrangular prism specimen (a 'prism-shaped' section) was observed in three-dimension (3-D) by transmission electron microtomography (TEMT) over as wide a tilt range as possible. Two types of specimens were prepared for the TEMT experiments: (i) a prism-shaped section of a block copolymer nanostructure, whose cross section was 200 nm on each side and (ii) a conventional ultrathin section having the same thickness (∼200 nm) as the prism-shaped section. Image quality of the projections taken at high tilt angles, e.g. 60°, of the prism-shaped section was considerably better than that of the ultrathin section. This was because the path length of electron beam of the prism-shaped section was shorter (and hence the transmission was higher) than that of the ultrathin section at the same tilt angle. Thus, although the projections of the ultrathin section at the tilt angle larger than ∼40° did not effectively contribute to the 3-D reconstruction, those of the prism-shaped section at very high tilt angles, e.g. ±75°, can still be used for the 3-D reconstruction. Three orthogonal cross-sectional views of the 3-D reconstruction were extensively compared between the two sections. It was found that (i) the image contrast of the 3-D reconstruction was significantly enhanced and (ii) an elongation of structural object due to limitation of the angular range in the electron tomography was considerably reduced using the prism-shaped section.
- Block copolymer
- Electron tomography
- Image resolution
- Three-dimensional reconstruction
ASJC Scopus subject areas