Commission on Diffraction Microstructure Imaging

Commission on Diffraction Microstructure Imaging

This new Commission on Diffraction Microstructure Imaging was established at the Prague General Assembly in August 2021.

What is Diffraction Microstructure Imaging (DMI)?

Diffraction microstructure imaging (DMI) encompasses a variety of hard X-ray and neutron diffraction techniques for mapping the microstructure of materials including engineering alloys, ceramics, and geological materials. More specifically, these techniques are used to non-destructively characterize the 3-D spatial variation of the atomic lattice within crystalline materials. The 3-D state of the crystal lattice often plays a decisive role in determining the mechanical, thermal, and electromagnetic properties of materials.

While the techniques are varied, a set of common characteristics unite these techniques. The first is that these techniques take advantage of the penetrating power of hard X-rays and neutrons to non-destructively probe the state of the atomic lattice below the sample surface. The second is that these techniques focus on reconstructing the state of the atomic lattice in 3-D which can include variation of atomic lattice type, plane spacing, orientation, and defect content. Lastly, these techniques make use of advanced computational reconstruction techniques to make sub-surface, 3-D reconstructions possible. 

Since these techniques are non-destructive, they can often be performed in-situ as materials are loaded mechanically, thermally, or electromagnetically to monitor the evolution of the atomic lattice. Large datasets (>Tb) are common, and as-such, application of machine learning to efficiently extract the most from these rich data is at the forefront of research. Throughout this website are resources for learning more about various DMI techniques, where they can be performed, and the software tools available to perform these reconstructions.

These pages are maintained by the Commission Last updated: 15 Oct 2021