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A review is given of research into the measurement of crystal structure-factor amplitudes and phases by transmission electron diffraction. Accuracies for amplitudes are commonly a fraction of a percent (after conversion to X-ray structure factors) while phases may now be measured in favorable cases using three-beam electron diffraction to an accuracy of much better than 1°. Following a brief review of theory, the main techniques are outlined. These include quantitative convergent-beam electron diffraction, the critical-voltage method, the intersecting Kikuchi- and HOLZ-Iine methods and methods based on weak high-order reflections in wide-angle patterns. Enantiomorphs and polarity are discussed. Summaries are given of measurements of the mean inner potential and of structure factors generally. A brief review of the implications of this work for studies of crystal bonding and ordering in alloys is given, and its use to test ab initio computations of charge density. The mean inner potential is found to be the quantity most sensitive to the bonding distribution of valence electrons and sensitively constrains accurate X-ray structure-factor measurements. Electron diffraction techniques are to be preferred for studies of individual microcrystals or artificially formed structures and for the very accurate measurement of structure-factor phases in acentric crystals with small unit cells.
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