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This article is devoted to recent progress in the area of in situ electron microscopy (scanning and transmission) and will focus on quantitative aspects of these techniques as applied to the deformation of materials. Selected recent experiments are chosen to illustrate how these techniques have benefited from improvements ranging from sample preparation to digital image acquisition. Known for its ability to capture the underlying phenomena of plastic deformation as they occur, in situ electron microscopy has evolved to a level where fully instrumented micro- and nanomechanical tests can be performed simultaneously.
Electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analyses of small indentations in copper single crystals exhibit only slight changes of the crystal orientation in the surroundings of the imprints. Far-reaching dislocations might be the reason for these small misorientation changes. Using EBSD and TEM technique, this work makes an attempt to visualize the far-propagating dislocations by introducing a twin boundary in the vicinity of small indentations. Because dislocations piled up at the twin boundary produce a misorientation gradient, the otherwise far-propagating dislocations can be detected.