Probing nanoscale structure and strain by dark-field x-ray microscopy

Can Yildirim, Phil Cook, Carsten Detlefs, Hugh Simons, Henning Friis Poulsen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Dark-field x-ray microscopy is intended for the acquisition of three -dimensional (3D) movies of the nanostructure (grains, domains, and dislocations) and the associated local strain within bulk materials. It is analogous to dark-field electron microscopy in that an objective lens magnifies diffracting features of the sample. The use of high-energy synchrotron x-rays, however, means that these microstructural features can be large and deeply embedded. The spatial and angular resolution is on the order of 100 nm and 0.001°, respectively, and full maps can be recorded in seconds to minutes. Four applications of the technique are presented - domain switching in ferroelectrics, processing of metals, microstructural characterization of biominerals, and visualization of dislocations. The ability to directly characterize complex, multiscale phenomena in situ - and in 3D - is a key step toward formulating and validating multiscale models that account for the entire heterogeneity of materials.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMRS Bulletin
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)277-282
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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