, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 759-767

Automatic analysis of electron backscatter diffraction patterns

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The ability to measure lattice orientation in individual crystallites enables a more complete characterization of microstructure by combining lattice orientation with morphological features. Lattice orientation can be obtained by analyzing electron backscatter diffraction patterns (EBSPs). However, current computer-aided EBSP analysis techniques make it impractical to obtain the number of measurements needed for statistically reliable characterizations of microstructure. An effective fully automated technique for determining crystallographic orientation from EBSPs is described. Bands are identified by linear regions of correlation in the image intensity gradient direction. The most probable orientation is then found using the angles between the detected bands. The reliability of the technique was tested using a set of 1000 patterns obtained from annealed oxygen-free electrical grade (OFEC) copper. The orientation of each test pattern found using automatic indexing was checked against the corresponding orientation as determined by manual indexing. Ninety-nine percent of auto-indexed orientations were found to lie within 5 deg of the misorientation angle of the manual-indexed orientations. By simulating noise in the test patterns, it was found that image quality has a strong effect on the reliability of the technique. An image quality parameter is described which allows the reliability of the technique to be predicted for a pattern of given quality.