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Transmission EBSD in the Scanning Electron Microscope



Roy H. Geiss, Katherine P. Rice, Robert R. Keller


A new method for obtaining Kikuchi diffraction patterns from thin specimens in transmission has been developed for use in the SEM, scanning electron microscope, using a conventional electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) detector and with a slight modification to the sample holder. We first reported this at M&M in 2010 and 2011, and published the first paper in 2012[1-3]. Using this technique, which we term “transmission EBSD” (t-EBSD), we have extended the spatial resolution of electron diffraction in the SEM to sub-10 nm dimensions. We have conducted t-EBSD experiments on a variety of samples including particles with diameters less than 10 nm; wires with diameters less than 80 nm; and films with thicknesses ranging from ~ 5 nm to 300 nm. The purpose of this paper is to describe this new way to obtain electron diffraction patterns with nanometer resolution from thin samples within almost any scanning electron microscope with conventional EBSD equipment. In addition to standard EBSD hardware and software, the t-EBSD technique simply requires a modified sample holder in order to position the sample in a transmission alignment relative to the EBSD detector. We briefly outline the history of the development of the technique, followed by descriptions of sample preparation and the hardware modifications required to properly position the sample. Results for the different types of samples mentioned above will be shown. Finally we discuss the use of Monte Carlo electron scattering simulations that give a first order validation of the results.
Microscopy Today


"EBSD", "electron diffraction", "SEM", "nano-particles", " thin films", "Monte Carlo"


Geiss, R. , Rice, K. and Keller, R. (2013), Transmission EBSD in the Scanning Electron Microscope, Microscopy Today, [online], (Accessed April 14, 2024)
Created May 1, 2013, Updated February 19, 2017