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Acquisition parameters optimization of a transmission electron forward scatter diffraction system in a cold-field emission scanning electron microscope for nanomaterials characterization

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Transmission electron forward scatter diffraction (t-EFSD) is a new technique providing crystallographic information with high resolution on thin specimens by using a conventional electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) system in a scanning electron microscope. In this study, the impact of tilt angle, working distance, and detector distance on the Kikuchi pattern quality were investigated in a cold-field emission scanning electron microscope (CFE-SEM). We demonstrated that t-EFSD is applicable for tilt angles ranging from −20° to −40°. Working distance (WD) should be optimized for each material by choosing the WD for which the EBSD camera screen illumination is the highest, as the number of detected electrons on the screen is directly dependent on the scattering angle. To take advantage of the best performances of the CFE-SEM, the EBSD camera should be close to the sample and oriented towards the bottom to increase forward scattered electron collection efficiency. However, specimen chamber cluttering and beam/mechanical drift are important limitations in the CFE-SEM used in this work. Finally, the importance of t-EFSD in materials science characterization was illustrated through three examples of phase identification and orientation mapping. SCANNING 35:375–386, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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