Three-dimensional sampling of material structure for property modeling and design

  • McLean P EchlinEmail author
  • William C Lenthe
  • Tresa M Pollock
Research Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Three-Dimensional Materials Science


Newly developed 3-D tomographic techniques permit acquisition of quantitative materials data for input to structure-property models. At the mesoscale, techniques that enable sampling of larger material volumes provide information such as grain size and morphology, 3-D interfacial character, and chemical gradients. However, systematic approaches for determining the characteristic material volume for 3-D analysis have yet to be established. In this work, the variability in properties due to microstructure is discussed in the context of a methodology for defining volume elements that link microstructure, properties, and design. As such, we propose a 3-D sampling methodology based on convergence of microstructural parameters and associated properties and design considerations.


Representative volume element Microstructure volume elements Property volume elements Femtosecond laser Tomography Serial sectioning 



The authors acknowledge the Office of Naval Research ONR-DURIP grant no. N000141010783 for the support of the development of the TriBeam system and Air Force grant FA9550-12-1-0445 for the support of this research. We also thank FEI Corporation for supporting the development of the TriBeam system. The authors acknowledge David Rowenhorst for visualization code in IDL and Michael Uchic for useful discussions on tomography. The thoughtful comments from the reviewers are also greatly appreciated.

Supplementary material

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© Echlin et al.; licensee Springer 2014

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Authors and Affiliations

  • McLean P Echlin
    • 1
  • William C Lenthe
    • 1
  • Tresa M Pollock
    • 1
  1. 1.University of California Santa BarbaraMaterials DeptUSA

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