An introduction to three-dimensional X-ray diffraction microscopy

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Three-dimensional X-ray diffraction microscopy is a fast and nondestructive structural characterization technique aimed at studies of the individual crystalline elements (grains or subgrains) within millimetre-sized polycrystalline specimens. It is based on two principles: the use of highly penetrating hard X-rays from a synchrotron source and the application of tomographic reconstruction algorithms for the analysis of the diffraction data. In favourable cases, the position, morphology, phase and crystallographic orientation can be derived for up to 1000 elements simultaneously. For each grain its average strain tensor may also be derived, from which the type II stresses can be inferred. Furthermore, the dynamics of the individual elements can be monitored during typical processes such as deformation or annealing. A review of the field is provided, with a viewpoint from materials science. © 2012 International Union of Crystallography Printed in Singapore-all rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Applied Crystallography
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1084-1097
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Characterization
  • Nuclear instrumentation
  • Synchrotron radiation
  • Three dimensional
  • Tomography
  • X ray diffraction

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