Quantitative Microfabric Analysis

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Course type integrated learning activity
Information LSF
SEM laboratory at LMU
Responsible(s) Prof. Dr. Claudia Trepmann
Eligible for MSc Geology: P9.0.11
Course location Geologie, Luisenstr. 37
Date SoSe
Course material LSF

Course content

Microstructure is the link between science and technology of materials and is of major importance in material design and material processing technologies. Moreover, microstructure reconstruction is of fundamental significance in several Earth, biological and environmental science disciplines.
The microstructural characterization of a crystalline material includes the determination of grain number and size distribution, chemical composition, spatial distribution of phases, crystallographic and structural relationships between grains as well as intragranular misorientation. The analytical technique best suited for the quantitative microstructure and texture characterization of crystalline and crystal- bearing samples is EBSD (Electron Backscatter Diffraction) performed in a scanning electron microscope (SEM), and complemented by secondary electron (SE)-, backscattered electron (BSE)- and cathodoluminescence (CL)- imaging, scanning transmission electron microcopy (STEM) and phase identification with Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS). The thorough characterization of microstructure and texture provides basic information on the materials properties, such as anisotropy, strength and porosity, and on the formation processes resulting in the microfabric, such as deformation mechanisms, slip systems, mineral reactions, gas phase exsolution, as well as melting, diagenetic and metamorphic overprint.
(information given by Prof. Dr. Trepmann, 2018)

In the course Quantitative Microfabric Analysis different electron-microscopic and polarized light microscopic techniques are discussed via specific case studies relevant for modern microfabric analytics. Students will work on electron backs scatter diffraction (EBSD) data sets. They gain hands-on experience on scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and sample preparation for transmission electron microscopy (ion thinning). The course is a combination of discussing case studies, microscopic exercises as well as EBSD data processing and interpretation.
(from: Module Handbook M.Sc. Geology, 2014)

Analytical methods



  • Goldstein, J., D.E. Newbury, D.C. Joy, C.E. Lyman, P. Echlin, E. Lifshin, L. Sawyer, and J.R. Michael: Scanning electron microscopy and X-ray microanalysis, Springer 2003.
  • W. Zhou, Z. L. Wang: Scanning electron microscopy for nanotechnology, Springer 2006.


  • J. Schwartz, M. Kumar, B. L. Adams: Electron backscatter diffrection in materials science. Kluwer Academic Plenum Publishers 2000.
  • V. Randle, O. Engler: Introduction to texture analysis: Macrotexture, microtexture and orentation mapping. Harwood Academic 2000.
  • V. Randle: Microtexture determination and ist applications. IOM 1992.
  • F. J. Humphreys: Grain and subgrain characterisation by electron backscatter diffraction. J. Mat. Sci., 36, 3833-3854, 2001 (review).
  • D. Dingley: Progressive steps in the development of electron backscatter diffrection and orientation imaging microscopy. Journal of Microscopy, 213, 214.224, 2003.
  • D. J. Prior et al.: The application of electron backscatter diffraction and orientation contrast imaging in the SEM to textural problems in rocks. American Mineralogist, Volume 84, pages 1741–1759, 1999.
  • G. Seward, D. Prior, J. Wheeler et al. High-temperature electron backscatter diffraction and scanning electron microscopy imaging techniques: in-situ investigations of dynamic processes. Scanning, 24, 5, 2006.
  • S. Zaefferer: A critical review of orientation microscopy in SEM and TEM. Crystal Research and Technology, 46, 6, 607-628, 2011.
  • Wheeler, J., Prior, D., Jiang, Z., Spiess, R., Trimby, P., 2001. The petrological significance of misorientations between grains. Contrib. Mineral. Petrol. 141, 109-124.