The transmission electron microscope (TEM) has evolved into a highly sophisticated instrument that is ideally suited to the characterization of advanced materials. Atomic-level information is routinely accessible using both fixed-beam and scanning TEMs. This report briefly considers developments in the field of atomic-resolution electron microscopy. Recent activities include renewed attention to on-line microscope control (‘autotuning’), and assessment and correction of aberrations. Aberration-corrected electron microscopy has developed rapidly in several forms although more work needs to be done to identify standard imaging conditions and to explore novel operating modes. Preparation of samples and image interpretation have also become more demanding. Ongoing problems include discrepancies between measured and simulated image contrast, concerns about radiation damage, and inversion of electron scattering.

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(10)70140-1