After all these years I still get excited about new technologies and their resulting products, especially when I have had the good fortune to play a part in their development. As I look forward to 2019, there are new and exciting products on the horizon from EDAX, where the engineering teams have been hard at work innovating and enhancing capabilities across all product lines. We are on the verge of having one of our most productive years for product introduction with new technologies expanding our portfolio in electron microscopy and micro-XRF applications.
Our APEX software platform will have a new release early this year with substantial feature enhancements for EDS, to be followed by EBSD capabilities later in 2019. APEX will also expand its wings to uXRF providing a new GUI and advanced quant functions for bulk and multi-layer analysis.
Our OIM Analysis EBSD software will also see a major update with the addition of a new Dictionary Indexing option.
A new addition to our TEM line will be a 160 mm² detector in a 17.5 mm diameter module that provides an exceptional solid angle for the most demanding applications in this field.
Elite T EDS System
Velocity, EDAX’s low noise CMOS EBSD camera, provides astonishing EBSD performance at greater than 3000 fps with high indexing on a range of materials including deformed samples.
Velocity EBSD Camera
Last but not least, being an old x-ray guy, I can’t help being so impressed with the amazing EBSD patterns we are collecting from a ground-breaking direct electron detection (DED) camera with such “Clarity” and detail, promising a new frontier for EBSD applications!
It will be an exciting year at EDAX and with that, I would like to wish you all a great, prosperous year!
We all give presentations. We write and review papers. Either way, we have to be critical of our data and how it is presented to others, both numerically and graphically.
With that said, I thought it would be nice to start this year with a couple of quick tips or notes that can help with mistakes I see frequently.
The most common thing I see is poorly documented cleanup routines and partitioning. Between the initial collection and final presentation of the data, a lot of things are done to that data. It needs to be clear what was done so that one can interpret it correctly (or other people can reproduce it). Cleanup routines can change the data in ways that can either be subtle (or not so subtle), but more importantly they could wrongly change your conclusions. The easiest routine to see this on is the grain dilation routine. This routine can turn noisy data into a textured dataset pretty fast (fig. 1).
Figure 1. The initial data was just pure noise. By running it iteratively through the grain dilation routine, you can make both grains and textures.
Luckily for us, OIM Analysis keeps track of most of what is done via the cleanup routines and partitioning in the summary window on either the dataset level or the partition level (fig. 2).
Figure 2. A partial screenshot of the dataset level summary window shows cleanup routines completed on the dataset, as well as the parameters used. This makes your processing easily repeatable.
The other common issue is not including the full information needed to interpret a map. I really need to look at 3 things to get the full picture for an EBSD dataset: the IPF map (fig. 3), the Phase Map (fig. 4) and the IPF Legend (fig. 5) of those phases. This is very important because while the colors used are the same, the orientations differ between the different crystal symmetries.
Figure 3. General IPF Map of a geological sample. Many phases are present, but the dataset is not complete without a legend and phase map. The colors mean nothing without knowing both the phase and the IPF legend to use for that phase.
Below is a multiple phase sample with many crystal symmetries. All use Red-Green-Blue as the general color scheme. By just looking at the general IPF map (fig. 3), I can easily get the wrong impression. Without the phase map, I do not know which legend I should be using to understand the orientation of each phase. Without the crystal symmetry specific legend, I do not know how the colors change over the orientation space. I really need all these legends/maps to truly understand what I am looking at. One missing brick and the tower crumbles.
Figure 5. With all the information now presented, I can actually go back and interpret figure 3 using figures 4 and 5 to guide me.
Figure 4. In this multiphase sample, multiple symmetries are present. I need to know which phase a pixel is, to know which legend to use.
Being aware of these two simple ideas alone can help you to better present your data to any audience. The fewer the questions about how you got the data, the more time you will have to answer more meaningful questions about what the data actually means!