Reconstructing grain-shape statistics from electron back-scatter diffraction microscopy
The distributions of size and shape of a material’s grains can be constructed from a 2D slice of the material and electron diffraction data.
R. Farr, Z. Vukmanovic, M. Holness, E. Griffiths
A full, three-dimensional analysis of the shapes of grains in polycrystalline materials, such as rocks or ceramics, is difficult and costly. Here, the authors describe an approach that takes electron microscopy images of plane sections (together with crystal orientation data from the back-scattered electrons), and allows one to deduce information about the size and shape distribution of the randomly-oriented three-dimensional grains. The authors also provide an estimate of how much data is needed to achieve a certain level of confidence. Since this type of microscopy and image analysis is a highly effective and optimised technique, the new result promises to give much easier access to the three dimensional structures of many crystalline materials.