It is becoming increasingly important to be able to characterise materials on the nanoscale and, despite significant technological developments in recent years, the EBSD technique is still limited by the pattern source volume to resolutions in the order of 25-100 nm. This is insufficient to accurately measure truly
nanostructured materials (with mean grain sizes below 100 nm).
A new approach to SEM-based diffraction has received a lot of interest; it applies conventional EBSD hardware to an electron-transparent sample. The technique, referred to as transmission Kikuchi diffraction (TKD: Trimby, 2012) or transmission EBSD (t-EBSD: Keller and Geiss, 2012) has been proven to enable spatial resolutions better than 10 nm. This technique is ideal for routine EBSD characterisation of both nanostructured and highly deformed samples.
This application note describes some of the challenges when using TKD and how application of the AZtec EBSD system overcomes them.