Experimental Mechanics

, Volume 58, Issue 9, pp 1407–1421 | Cite as

High-Resolution Deformation Mapping Across Large Fields of View Using Scanning Electron Microscopy and Digital Image Correlation

  • Z. Chen
  • W. Lenthe
  • J. C. Stinville
  • M. Echlin
  • T. M. Pollock
  • S. Daly


This paper details the creation of experimental and computational frameworks to capture high-resolution, microscale deformation mechanisms and their relation to microstructure over large (mm-scale) fields of view. Scanning electron microscopy with custom automation and external beam control was used to capture 209 low-distortion micrographs of 360 μm × 360 μm each, that were individually correlated using digital image correlation to obtain displacement/strain fields with a spatial resolution of 0.44 μm. Displacement and strain fields, as well as secondary electron images, were subsequently stitched to create a 5.7 mm × 3.4 mm field of view containing 100 million (7678 × 13,004) data points. This approach was demonstrated on Mg WE43 under uniaxial compression, where effective strain was shown to be relatively constant with respect to distance from the grain boundary, and a noticeable increase in the effective strain was found with an increase in the basal Schmid factor. The ability to obtain high-resolution deformations over statistically relevant fields of view enables large data analytics to examine interactions between microstructure, microscale strain localizations, and macroscopic properties.


Digital image correlation (DIC) Stitching External scan Distortion Alignment 



The authors gratefully acknowledge Mark Cornish and Darin Randall for helpful discussions and suggestions, and Remco Geurts for discussions regarding scan control and electron microscopy. This work was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Division of Materials Sciences and Engineering under Award #DE- SC0008637 as part of the Center for PRedictive Integrated Structural Materials Science (PRISMS) at the University of Michigan. TMP, WL, JCS and ME gratefully acknowledge the support of ONR Grant N00014-16-1-2982.


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Copyright information

© Society for Experimental Mechanics 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Materials DepartmentUniversity of California Santa BarbaraSanta BarbaraUSA
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of California Santa BarbaraSanta BarbaraUSA

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