Improving EBSD precision by orientation refinement with full pattern matching

Winkelmann, A. and Jablon, B.M. and Tong, V.S. and Trager-Cowan, C. and Mingard, K.P. (2020) Improving EBSD precision by orientation refinement with full pattern matching. Journal of Microscopy, 277 (2). pp. 79-92. ISSN 0022-2720 (

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We present a comparison of the precision of different approaches for orientation imaging using electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) in the scanning electron microscope. We have used EBSD to image the internal structure of WC grains, which contain features due to dislocations and subgrains. We compare the conventional, Hough-transform based orientation results from the EBSD system software with results of a high-precision orientation refinement using simulated pattern matching at the full available detector resolution of 640 × 480 pixels. Electron channelling contrast imaging (ECCI) is used to verify the correspondence of qualitative ECCI features with the quantitative orientation data from pattern matching. For the investigated sample, this leads to an estimated pattern matching sensitivity of about 0.5 mrad (0.03°) and a spatial feature resolution of about 100 nm. In order to investigate the alternative approach of postprocessing noisy orientation data, we analyse the effects of two different types of orientation filters. Using reference features in the high-precision pattern matching results for comparison, we find that denoising of orientation data can reduce the spatial resolution, and can lead to the creation of orientation artefacts for crystallographic features near the spatial and orientational resolution limits of EBSD.


Winkelmann, A., Jablon, B.M., Tong, V.S., Trager-Cowan, C. ORCID logoORCID: and Mingard, K.P.;