Recent progresses in nanoscale semiconductor technology have heightened the need for measurements of band gaps with high spatial resolution. Band gap mapping can be performed through a combination of probe-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) and monochromated electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS), but are rare owing to the complexity of the experiments and the data analysis. Furthermore, although this method is far superior in terms of spatial resolution to any other techniques, it is still fundamentally resolution-limited due to inelastic delocalization of the EELS signal. In this work we have established a quantitative correlation between optical band gaps and plasmon energies using the Zn1−xCd x O/ZnO system as an example, thereby side-stepping the fundamental resolution limits of band gap measurements, and providing a simple and convenient approach to achieve band gap maps with unprecedented spatial resolution.
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