New Techniques for the Analysis of Fine-Scaled Clustering Phenomena within Atom Probe Tomography (APT) Data
Nanoscale atomic clusters in atom probe tomographic data are not universally defined but instead are characterized by the clustering algorithm used and the parameter values controlling the algorithmic process. A new core-linkage clustering algorithm is developed, combining fundamental elements of the conventional maximum separation method with density-based analyses. A key improvement to the algorithm is the independence of algorithmic parameters inherently unified in previous techniques, enabling a more accurate analysis to be applied across a wider range of material systems. Further, an objective procedure for the selection of parameters based on approximating the data with a model of complete spatial randomness is developed and applied. The use of higher nearest neighbor distributions is highlighted to give insight into the nature of the clustering phenomena present in a system and to generalize the clustering algorithms used to analyze it. Maximum separation, density-based scanning, and the core linkage algorithm, developed within this study, were separately applied to the investigation of fine solute clustering of solute atoms in an Al-1.9Zn-1.7Mg (at.%) at two distinct states of early phase decomposition and the results of these analyses were evaluated.(Received August 23 2007)
(Accepted September 9 2007)
Key Words: atom probe tomography; solute clustering; cluster algorithms; nearest neighbors; data analysis; data mining.
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