Skip to main content

A Review of Strain Analysis Using Electron Backscatter Diffraction

  • Stuart I. Wright (a1), Matthew M. Nowell (a1) and David P. Field (a2)

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.

Corresponding author
Corresponding author. E-mail:
Hide All
Adams B.L., Wright S.I. & Kunze K. (1993). Orientation imaging: The emergence of a new microscopy. Metall Trans 24A, 819831.
Bertness K.A., Geiss R.H., Keller R.R., Quinn T.P. & Roshko A. (2004). EBSD measurement of strains in GaAs due to oxidation of buried AlGaAs layers. Microelectron Eng 75(1), 96102.
Brewer L.N., Othon M.A., Young L.M. & Angeliu T.M. (2002). Misorientation mapping for visualization of plastic strain via electron back-scattered diffraction. In Microscopy and Microanalysis 2002, Voelkel E., Piston D., Gauvin R., Lockley A.J., Bailey G.W. & McKernan S. (Eds.), pp. 684CD685CD. Québec City, Québec, Canada: Cambridge University Press.
El-Dasher B.S., Adams B.L. & Rollett A.D. (2003). Viewpoint: Experimental recovery of geometrically necessary dislocation density in polycrystals. Scripta Mater 48(2), 141145.
Field D.P. (1995). Quantification of partially recrystallized polycrystals using electron backscatter diffraction. Mater Sci Eng A 190, 241246.
Field D.P. (1997). Recent advances in the application of orientation imaging. Ultramicroscopy 67(1-4), 19.
Field D.P., Kumar M., Trivedi P.B. & Wright S.I. (2005). Analysis of local orientation gradients in deformed single crystals. Ultramicroscopy 103(1), 3339.
Field D.P., Magid K.R., Mastorakos I.N., Florando J.N., Lassila D.H. & Morris J.W. Jr. (2010). Mesoscale strain measurement in deformed crystals: A comparison of X-ray microdiffraction with electron backscatter diffraction. Philos Mag 90, 14511464.
Kacher J., Landon C., Adams B.L. & Fullwood D. (2009). Bragg's law diffraction simulations for electron backscatter diffraction analysis. Ultramicroscopy 109(9), 11481156.
Katrakova D. & Mucklich F. (2001). Specimen preparation and electron backscatter diffraction—Part I: Metals. Prac Metallog 38(10), 547565.
Keller R.R., Roshko A., Geiss R.H., Bertness K.A. & Quinn T.P. (2004). EBSD measurement of strains in GaAs due to oxidation of buried AlGaAs layers. Microelec Eng 75(1), 96102.
Krieger Lassen N.C., Juul Jensen D. & Conradsen K. (1994). Automatic recognition of deformed and recrystallized regions in partly recrystallized samples using electron backscattering patterns. Mater Sci Forum 157162, 149158.
Kunze K., Wright S.I., Adams B.L. & Dingley D.J. (1993). Advances in automatic EBSP single orientation measurements. Text Microstruc 20(1-4), 4154.
Kysar J.W. & Briant C.L. (2002). Crack tip deformation fields in ductile single crystals. Acta Mater 50(9), 23672380.
Lehockey E.M., Lin Y.-P. & Lepik O.E. (2000). Mapping residual plastic strain in materials using electron backscatter diffraction. In Electron Backscatter Diffraction in Materials Science, Schwartz A.J., Kumar M. & Adams B.L. (Eds.), pp. 247264. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers.
Li B.L., Godfrey A. & Liu Q. (2002). Investigation of macroscopic grain sub-division of an IF-steel during cold-rolling. Mater Sci Forum 408412, 11851190.
Miyamoto G., Shibata A., Maki T. & Furuhara T. (2009). Precise measurement of strain accommodation in austenite matrix surrounding martensite in ferrous alloys by electron backscatter diffraction analysis. Acta Mater 57(4), 11201131.
Nowell M.M. & Wright S.I. (2005). Orientation effects on indexing of electron backscatter diffraction patterns. Ultramicroscopy 103(1), 4158.
Nye J.F. (1957). Physical Properties of Crystals. Their Representation by Tensors and Matrices. London: Oxford.
Pantleon W. (2008). Resolving the geometrically necessary dislocation content by conventional electron backscattering diffraction. Scripta Mater 58, 994997.
Sun S., Adams B.L. & King W.E. (2000). Observations of lattice curvature near the interface of a deformed aluminum bicrystal. Philos Mag 80, 925.
Tao X. (2003). An EBSD study on mapping of small orientation differences in lattice mismatched heterostructures. PhD Thesis. Bethlehem, PA: Lehigh University.
Tao X. & Eades A. (2005). Errors, artifacts and improvements in EBSD processing and mapping. Microsc Microanal 11, 7987.
Troost K.Z., Vandersluis P. & Gravesteijn D.J. (1993). Microscale elastic-strain determination by backscatter Kikuchi diffraction in the scanning electron-microscope. Appl Phys Lett 62(10), 11101112.
Uchic M.D., Groeber M. IV, Wheeler R., Scheltens F. & Dimiduk D.M. (2004). Augmenting the 3D characterization capability of the dual beam FIB-SEM. Microsc Microanal 10(S2), 11361137 (CD-ROM).
Villert S., Maurice C., Wyon C. & Fortunier R. (2009). Accuracy assessment of elastic strain measurement by EBSD. J Microsc 233(2), 290301.
Wardle S.T., Lin L.S., Cetel A.D. & Adams B.L. (1994). Orientation imaging microscopy: Monitoring residual stress profiles in single crystals using and imaging quality parameter, IQ. In Proceedings of the 52nd Annual Meeting of the Microscopy Society of America, Bailey G.W. & Garratt-Reed A.J. (Eds.), pp. 680681. San Francisco, CA: San Francisco Press.
Wheeler J., Jiang Z., Prior D.J., Tullis J., Drury M.R. & Trimby P.W. (2003). From geometry to dynamics of microstructure: Using boundary lengths to quantify boundary misorientations and anisotropy. Tectonophysics 376, 1935.
Wilkinson A.J. (1997). Methods for determining elastic strains from electron backscatter diffraction and electron channeling patterns. Mater Sci Tech 13(1), 7984.
Wilkinson A.J., Meaden G. & Dingley D.J. (2006a). High-resolution elastic strain measurement from electron backscatter diffraction patterns: New levels of sensitivity. Ultramicroscopy 106(4-5), 307313.
Wilkinson A.J., Meaden G. & Dingley D.J. (2006b). High resolution mapping of strains and rotations using electron backscatter diffraction. Mater Sci Tech 22(11), 12711278.
Winkelmann A. (2008). Dynamical effects of anisotropic inelastic scattering in electron backscatter diffraction. Ultramicroscopy 108, 15461550.
Wright S.I. (1993). A review of automated orientation imaging microscopy (OIM). J Comput Assist Microsc 5, 207221.
Wright S.I. (1999). Quantification of recrystallized fraction from orientation imaging scans. In Proceedings of the Twelfth International Conference on Textures of Materials, Szpunar J.A. (Ed.), pp. 104109. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: NRC Research Press.
Wright S.I. (2006). Random thoughts on non-random misorientation distributions. Mater Sci Tech 22(11), 12871296.
Wright S.I., Adams B.L. & Kunze K. (1993). Application of new automatic lattice orientation measurement technique to polycrystalline aluminum. Mater Sci Eng A 160, 229240.
Wright S.I., Field D.P. & Nowell M.M. (2005). Impact of local texture on recrystallization and grain growth via in-situ EBSD. In Textures of Materials—ICOTOM 14, Van Houtte P. & Kestens L. (Eds.), pp. 11211130. Leuven, Belgium: Trans Tech Publications.
Wright S.I. & Nowell M.M. (2006). EBSD image quality mapping. Microsc Microanal 12, 7284.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Microscopy and Microanalysis
  • ISSN: 1431-9276
  • EISSN: 1435-8115
  • URL: /core/journals/microscopy-and-microanalysis
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 41
Total number of PDF views: 619 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 1536 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 24th November 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.