🍩 Database of Original & Non-Theoretical Uses of Topology

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  1. Topological Data Analysis for the Characterization of Atomic Scale Morphology From Atom Probe Tomography Images (2018)

    Tianmu Zhang, Scott R. Broderick, Krishna Rajan
    Abstract Atom probe tomography (APT) represents a revolutionary characterization tool for materials that combine atomic imaging with a time-of-flight (TOF) mass spectrometer to provide direct space three-dimensional, atomic scale resolution images of materials with the chemical identities of hundreds of millions of atoms. It involves the controlled removal of atoms from a specimen’s surface by field evaporation and then sequentially analyzing them with a position sensitive detector and TOF mass spectrometer. A paradox in APT is that while on the one hand, it provides an unprecedented level of imaging resolution in three dimensions, it is very difficult to obtain an accurate perspective of morphology or shape outlined by atoms of similar chemistry and microstructure. The origins of this problem are numerous, including incomplete detection of atoms and the complexity of the evaporation fields of atoms at or near interfaces. Hence, unlike scattering techniques such as electron microscopy, interfaces appear diffused, not sharp. This, in turn, makes it challenging to visualize and quantitatively interpret the microstructure at the “meso” scale, where one is interested in the shape and form of the interfaces and their associated chemical gradients. It is here that the application of informatics at the nanoscale and statistical learning methods plays a critical role in both defining the level of uncertainty and helping to make quantitative, statistically objective interpretations where heuristics often dominate. In this chapter, we show how the tools of Topological Data Analysis provide a new and powerful tool in the field of nanoinformatics for materials characterization.