SEM is also a very powerful tool for characterizing microstructures. Secondary electron detectors allow us to see the shape of the sample, and the backscatter detector emphasizes differences in density. By imaging etched polished samples we can take advantage of both signals.

Here are some examples of partially transformed Mg2GeO4.

We use Electron Backscatter Diffraction (EBSD) to map crystallographic orientation. This technique allows us to measure preferred orientations and to see internal deformation within grains. The EBSD is currently installed on the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) at the Electron Microanalysis and Imaging Laboratory (EMiL) at UNLV. EBSD allows the orientation of grains to be measured by the SEM. The software produces orientation maps, pole figures, and grain shape measurements.

EBSD map of deformed Mg2GeO4 specimen.