Electron backscatter diffraction patterns; Orientation imaging microscopy; triple junctions
This work was supported primarily by the MRSEC Program of the National Science Foundation under Award Numbers DMR-9632556 and DMR-0079996. A new experimental approach to the quantitative characterization of polycrystalline microstructure by scanning electron microscopy is described. Combining automated electron backscattering diffraction with conventional scanning contrast imaging and with calibrated serial sectioning, the new method (Mesoscale Interface Mapping System, MIMS) recovers precision estimates of the 3-dimensional idealized aggregate function G(x). This function embodies a description of lattice phase and orientation (limiting resolution ~ 1 degree) at each point x (limiting spatial resolution ~ 100 nanometers), and therefore contains a complete mesoscale description of the interfacial network. The principal challenges of the method, achieving precise spatial registry between adjacent images and adequate distortion correction, are described. A description algorithm for control of the various components of the system is also provided.