Standard Article

Coherent Diffraction Imaging of Strain on the Nanoscale

X-Ray Techniques

  1. Ross Harder

Published Online: 12 OCT 2012

DOI: 10.1002/0471266965.com132

Characterization of Materials

Characterization of Materials

How to Cite

Harder, R. 2012. Coherent Diffraction Imaging of Strain on the Nanoscale. Characterization of Materials. 1–9.

Author Information

  1. Argonne National Laboratory, Advanced Photon Source, Argonne, IL, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 12 OCT 2012


Coherent diffraction imaging (CDI) in the Bragg geometry has gained a niche in recent years for its ability to image strain in a crystalline lattice on the nanoscale. This development is based on the realization that coherently scattered x-rays, in the vicinity of a Bragg peak of the crystalline sample, have exquisite sensitivity to distortions of the crystal lattice.

The method is dependent on the use of beams of highly brilliant x-rays available at the third–generation synchrotrons and the new x-ray–free electron lasers. There are several instruments at these facilities capable of such measurements. Argonne National Laboratory in the United States hosts such an instrument at the Advanced Photon Source.

Computational algorithms are used to retrieve the phases lost in the measurement of the coherently scattered x-rays and, subsequently, produce the images of the sample. These algorithms are a subject of intense development and in many cases are carefully tuned to a specific application. Phase retrieval for Bragg CDI data will be described in some detail, but similar principles are implemented in all forms of CDI.


  • Coherent diffraction imaging;
  • strain imaging;
  • x-ray microscopy