Understanding the Principles of Electron Backscatter Diffraction (EBSD)


Further explanations and examples in a recently published article in the Microscopy & Microanalysis journal: pdf | bib


The Basics of EBSD

EBSD utilizes an electron beam to interact with the sample's surface, resulting in the backscattering of electrons. By measuring the angles and intensities of these backscattered electrons, valuable information about the crystal structure, orientation, and deformation of the material can be obtained.

How EBSD Works

The EBSD technique relies on the interaction between the incident electrons and the crystal lattice of the sample. When the incident electrons strike the sample surface, they undergo scattering, leading to diffraction patterns. These diffraction patterns, captured by a detector, contain vital information about the crystal orientation and microstructure of the material.

By analyzing the diffraction patterns, researchers can determine the crystallographic orientation, grain boundaries, and other relevant properties of the sample. EBSD can be applied to various materials, including metals, ceramics, semiconductors, and geological samples.

Benefits and Applications of EBSD

EBSD offers numerous benefits for researchers and scientists in various fields. The technique provides valuable insights into the microstructure and crystallographic properties of materials, enabling the study of phase transformations, deformation mechanisms, and grain growth.

Some of the key applications of EBSD include:

  • Characterization of crystallographic textures in materials
  • Mapping of grain boundaries and defects
  • Analysis of phase transformations and recrystallization processes
  • Studying the mechanical behavior and deformation mechanisms of materials


In conclusion, Electron Backscatter Diffraction (EBSD) is a powerful technique used to investigate the crystallographic properties of materials. By utilizing the backscattered electrons and analyzing the resulting diffraction patterns, researchers can gain valuable insights into the microstructure, orientation, and deformation mechanisms of various materials. EBSD has widespread applications in materials science and is an essential tool for studying materials at the microscopic level.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can EBSD be used on non-conductive materials?

A: EBSD typically requires the sample to be conductive or coated with a conductive layer to prevent charge buildup. However, advancements in techniques such as low-voltage EBSD have allowed for the analysis of non-conductive materials.

Q: What is the spatial resolution of EBSD?

A: The spatial resolution of EBSD depends on various factors, including the accelerating voltage, sample quality, and detector specifications. In general, EBSD can provide sub-micron to nanometer-scale resolution.

Q: How is EBSD different from Electron Microscopy (EM)?

A: While EBSD is a technique used within Electron Microscopy, it focuses on the analysis of crystallographic information and orientation mapping. Electron Microscopy encompasses a broader range of imaging techniques, including scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM).