Characterization of Ultra-Fine Grained and Nanocrystalline Materials Using Transmission Kikuchi Diffraction
Journal of Visualized Experiments
One of the challenges in microstructure analysis nowadays resides in the reliable and accurate characterization of ultra-fine grained (UFG) and nanocrystalline materials. The traditional techniques associated with scanning electron microscopy (SEM), such as electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD), do not possess the required spatial resolution due to the large interaction volume between the electrons from the beam and the atoms of the material. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) has the required spatial resolution. However, due to a lack of automation in the analysis system, the rate of data acquisition is slow which limits the area of the specimen that can be characterized. This paper presents a new characterization technique, Transmission Kikuchi Diffraction (TKD), which enables the analysis of the microstructure of UFG and nanocrystalline materials using an SEM equipped with a standard EBSD system. The spatial resolution of this technique can reach 2 nm. This technique can be applied to a large range of materials that would be difficult to analyze using traditional EBSD. After presenting the experimental set up and describing the different steps necessary to realize a TKD analysis, examples of its use on metal alloys and minerals are shown to illustrate the resolution of the technique and its flexibility in term of material to be characterized.