Electron Backscattered Diffraction (EBSD)

Electron Backscatter Diffraction (EBSD) is an analytical technique available with SEM to characterize crystallographic properties of your samples.

How it works – electrons from the electron beam that are diffracted from the atomic layers of a crystalline material create electron backscatter patterns (Kikuchi bands), which are analyzed to obtain crystallographic structure information. Properties such as crystal structure, orientation and misorientation, phase, and grain shape and size can be identified.

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Instrumentation Available

Key Attributes

  • All elements in a crystalline matrix can be detected
  • Grain size detection of >80nm
  • Quantitative measurement of grain size and other related crystallographic parameters


  • Nanometer spatial resolution
  • Can directly measure of grain sizes
  • Can measure individual grain boundary angles
  • Mapping of phase distribution of some materials
  • Can map grains from 10s of nm to mm
  • Fast detection and analysis


  • Cannot measure amorphous materials
  • Surface needs to be free of damage
  • Can’t use conductive coating on sample
  • Sample has to be vacuum compatible


  • Phase analysis after heat treatment or welding
  • Measurement of grain sizes and distributions
  • Identify epitaxy between layers
  • Crystallographic texture analysis
  • Identify microstructural changes

Additional Reading