Orientation Imaging Microscopy for the Transmission Electron Microscope
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The resolution limit of Orientation Imaging Microscopy in the Scanning Electron Microscope is between 20 nA and 80 nA depending on the basic resolution/beam current performance of the SEM, the sample atomic number and the level of residual strain within it. The newer technique of orientation imaging in the transmission electron microscope, TEM, improves on this resolution limit by a factor of five to ten.
The new technique is based on a novel procedure for determining the crystallography of separate small volumes in the sample by examination of a large series of dark field images. Each image is recorded for a different diffraction condition. This is achieved by using a computer to direct the electron beam onto the same area of the sample so that it covers all directions within a cone of semi-apex angle 3 degrees. Analysis of the intensity of the same point in each of the dark field images permits reconstruction of a diffraction pattern for that point providing the data to calculate its crystal orientation. The process is repeated for each point in the image. The Orientation Image Micrograph is constructed from the orientations so determined.
The technique is shown to be capable of producing orientation micrographs of high spatial resolution for unstrained samples. For highly strained samples difficulties are encountered in accurately indexing the complicated diffraction patterns that are observed. Methods to improve the indexing procedures involve determining the sub-cell structure first from a comparison of patterns from adjacent pixels and then summing all patterns belonging to a single sub-cell. The resultant improvement in pattern quality permits more reliable determination of orientation. Examples of this procedure are taken from studies of deformed aluminum.
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