Diffraction Contrast Tomography - A Synchrotron Radiation Technique for Mapping Polycrystalline Microstructures in 3D
In this paper the authors describe a technique based on synchrotron x-ray diffraction which has been used to produce full 3D grain maps (both grain shapes and orientations) in annealed aluminium alloy and stainless steel samples containing around 500 grains. The procedure is termed diffraction contrast tomography (DCT), reflecting its similarities with conventional absorption contrast tomography. It is an extension of the 3D X-ray diffraction microscopy (3DXRD) concept, and has been developed in collaboration with its inventors. The specimen is illuminated using a monochromatic synchrotron x-ray beam, and grains imaged using the extinction contrast that appears in the transmitted beam when grains are aligned in the diffraction condition during rotation of the sample. The beams of radiation diffracted by the grains are captured simultaneously on the same detector as the direct beam image. The combination of diffraction and extinction information aids the grain indexing operation, in which pairs of diffraction and extinction images are assigned to grain sets. 3D grain shapes are determined by algebraic reconstruction from the limited number of extinction projections, while crystallographic orientation is found from the diffraction geometry. The non-destructive nature of the technique allows for in-situ studies of mapped samples. Research is in progress to extend the technique to allow the determination of the elastic strain and stress tensors on a grain-by-grain basis.
A. R. Pyzalla, A. Borbély and H.-P. Degischer
A. King et al., "Diffraction Contrast Tomography - A Synchrotron Radiation Technique for Mapping Polycrystalline Microstructures in 3D", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 571-572, pp. 207-212, 2008