h5ebsd: an archival data format for electron back-scatter diffraction data sets

  • Michael A Jackson
  • Michael A Groeber
  • Michael D Uchic
  • David J Rowenhorst
  • Marc De GraefEmail author
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Use of Digital Data in Materials Science and Engineering


We present an archival format for electron back-scatter diffraction (EBSD) data based on the HDF5 scientific file format. We discuss the differences between archival and data work flow file formats, and present details of the archival file layout for the implementation of h5ebsd, a vendor-neutral EBSD-HDF5 format. Information on sample and external reference frames can be included in the archival file, so that the data is internally consistent and complete. We describe how the format can be extended to include additional experimental modalities, and present some thoughts on the interactions between working files and archival files. The complete file specification as well as an example h5ebsd formatted data set are made available to the reader.


Electron back-scatter diffraction Hierarchical data format HDF5 



The authors would like to acknowledge stimulating interactions with A.D. Rollet and G.S. Rohrer.

MDG would like to acknowledge financial support from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, MURI contract # FA9550-12-1-0458. MAJ would like to acknowledge financial support from the Air Force Research Laboratories contract # FA8650-07-D-5800. DRJ would like to acknowledge financial support from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory under the auspices of the Office of Naval Research and the Office of Naval Research under the Alloys and Joining program.

Supplementary material

40192_2013_8_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (34 kb)
Additional file 1: Example h5ebsd data file.(PDF 34 KB)
40192_2013_8_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (31 kb)
Additional file 2: Condensed version of Figure 2.(PDF 31 KB)
40192_2013_8_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (5.5 mb)
Authors’ original file for figure 1
40192_2013_8_MOESM4_ESM.pdf (36 kb)
Authors’ original file for figure 2
40192_2013_8_MOESM5_ESM.jpeg (762 kb)
Authors’ original file for figure 3


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Copyright information

© Jackson et al.; licensee Springer. 2014

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License(, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael A Jackson
    • 1
  • Michael A Groeber
    • 2
  • Michael D Uchic
    • 2
  • David J Rowenhorst
    • 3
  • Marc De Graef
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.BlueQuartz SoftwareSpringboroUSA
  2. 2.Air Force Research LaboratoryMaterials and Manufacturing DirectorateWright Patterson AFBUSA
  3. 3.The U.S. Naval Research LaboratoryWashingtonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Materials Science and EngineeringPittsburghUSA

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