In contrast to perfectly periodic crystals, materials with short-range order produce diffraction patterns that contain both Bragg reflections and diffuse scattering. To understand the influence of short-range order on material properties, current research focuses increasingly on the analysis of diffuse scattering. This article verifies the possibility to refine the short-range order parameters in submicrometre-sized crystals from diffuse scattering in single-crystal electron diffraction data. The approach was demonstrated on Li1.2Ni0.13Mn0.54Co0.13O2, which is a state-of-the-art cathode material for lithium-ion batteries. The intensity distribution of the 1D diffuse scattering in the electron diffraction patterns of Li1.2Ni0.13Mn0.54Co0.13O2 depends on the number of stacking faults and twins in the crystal. A model of the disorder in Li1.2Ni0.13Mn0.54Co0.13O2 was developed and both the stacking fault probability and the percentage of the different twins in the crystal were refined using an evolutionary algorithm in DISCUS. The approach was applied on reciprocal space sections reconstructed from 3D electron diffraction data since they exhibit less dynamical effects compared with in-zone electron diffraction patterns. A good agreement was achieved between the calculated and the experimental intensity distribution of the diffuse scattering. The short-range order parameters in submicrometre-sized crystals can thus successfully be refined from the diffuse scattering in single-crystal electron diffraction data using an evolutionary algorithm in DISCUS.
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- 3D electron diffraction
- diffuse scattering
- dynamical effects
- lithium-ion batteries
- scanning transmission electron microscopy
- stacking faults