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A Review of Strain Analysis Using Electron Backscatter Diffraction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 March 2011

Stuart I. Wright*
EDAX-TSL, 392 East 12300 South, Draper, UT 84020, USA
Matthew M. Nowell
EDAX-TSL, 392 East 12300 South, Draper, UT 84020, USA
David P. Field
Washington State University, 239C Dana Hall, Pullman, WA 99164, USA
Corresponding author. E-mail:


Since the automation of the electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) technique, EBSD systems have become commonplace in microscopy facilities within materials science and geology research laboratories around the world. The acceptance of the technique is primarily due to the capability of EBSD to aid the research scientist in understanding the crystallographic aspects of microstructure. There has been considerable interest in using EBSD to quantify strain at the submicron scale. To apply EBSD to the characterization of strain, it is important to understand what is practically possible and the underlying assumptions and limitations. This work reviews the current state of technology in terms of strain analysis using EBSD. First, the effects of both elastic and plastic strain on individual EBSD patterns will be considered. Second, the use of EBSD maps for characterizing plastic strain will be explored. Both the potential of the technique and its limitations will be discussed along with the sensitivity of various calculation and mapping parameters.

Electron Backscatter Diffraction Special Section
Copyright © Microscopy Society of America 2011

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