National Physical Laboratory

Electron Back Scattered Diffraction (EBSD)

Electron Back Scattered Diffraction 

NPL has over 20 years experience in Electron Back Scattered Diffraction (EBSD) and is actively involved in collaboration with International experts and in 'round robin' exercises.

The technique relies on the secondary electrons generated from the electron beam in a scanning electron microscope being diffracted by the crystallographic planes of the material being examined. These diffracted electrons produce a pattern (Kikuchi lines) on a phosphor screen, which are then imaged and analysed by a computer to determine crystallographic orientation. By scanning the beam across the sample the surface of the material is then mapped.

The present system consists of a Zeiss Supra 40 Schottkey FEGSEM fitted with a HKL Nordlys II EBSD camera and Channel 4 software, and an Oxford Instruments Inca Energy energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer (EDS). The resolution of the system for EBSD is less than 50 nanometres.

NPL plays an active role in the development of standards for EBSD and is the convenor of ISO/WD 13067 Microbeam analysis - Electron backscatter diffraction - Measurement of grain size and distribution

Services, Instruments and Artefacts

  • Preparation techniques
  • Grain sizing
  • Crystallographic phase and microstructure mapping
  • Recrystallisation
  • Strain and deformation mapping
  • Texture analysis
  • Simultaneous EDS (Inca) and EBSD simultaneous


Customer Service tel: +44 20 8943 8681

Last Updated: 25 Mar 2010
Created: 2 Sep 2009


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