Electron diffraction provides similar structural information as neutron diffraction. Electron beams strongly interact with nuclei and electron diffraction is more useful than x-ray diffraction for determining proton positions. The strong interaction of electrons with matter results in a low penetration depth, and electron diffraction is usually used in a reflection geometry to study surfaces or thin films. Electron beams are easy to manipulate, detect, and focus to small spots to provide high spatial resolution.
Electrons scatter from gases and electron diffraction must be performed under vacuum.
/chem-ed/diffract/electron.htm, updated 10/14/96
Copyright © 1996 by Brian M. Tissue, all rights reserved.
Science Hypermedia Home Page