In-situ Laue x-ray microdiffraction

Laue diffraction is one of the oldest diffraction techniques. Traditionally, it was applied to determine the orientation of single crystals. With the advent of advanced micro-focussing optics at synchrotrons Laue microdiffraction has become an important microstructural characterisation tool for both single crystals and poly-crystals.

In 2005 an in-house developed micro compression device has been installed at the MicroXAS beam line of the Swiss Light Source (SLS). It allows compressing micron-sized objects (usually in the shape of micro-pillars) while recording Laue diffraction patterns. This in-situ method provides information on the evolution of the microstructure of single crystals during deformation. It allows identifying, for instance, activated slip systems, strain gradients, twinning, the formation of boundaries, etc. Detail on the setup can be found in JOM 62 (2010) 36 -

In 2005 an new miniaturized deformation device was developed that allow to perform in situ cyclic shear experiments. In these experiments a small section of the sample is scanned through the x-ray microbeam and at each point a Laue diffraction pattern is recorded. This allows to generate local crystal misorientation maps, which can in turn be further analysed to, for instance, maps of geometrical necessary dislocation densities. More details can be found in the following paper: Acta Materialia 112, 184 (2016). DOI: 10.1016/j.actamat.2016.04.011.


Main publications

Laue micro-diffraction and crystal plasticity finite element simulations to reveal a vein structure in fatigued Cu
Irastorza-Landa A, Grilli N, Van Swygenhoven H
DOI: 10.1016/j.jmps.2017.04.010

Effect of pre-existing immobile dislocations on the evolution of geometrically necessary dislocations during fatigue
Irastorza-Landa Ainara, Grilli Nicolo, Van Swygenhoven Helena
DOI: 10.1088/1361-651X/aa6e24

Following dislocation patterning during fatigue
Irastorza-Landa A, Van Swygenhoven H, Van Petegem S, Grilli N, Bollhalder A, Brandstetter S, Grolimund D
ACTA MATERIALIA 112, 184 (2016).
DOI: 10.1016/j.actamat.2016.04.011

Origin of Anomalous Slip in Tungsten
C Marichal, K Srivastava, D Weygand et al.
Physical Review Letters 113, 025501 (2014).

{110} Slip with {112} slip traces in bcc Tungsten
C Marichal, H Van Swygenhoven, S Van Petegem et al.
Scientific Reports 3, 2547 (2013).

Slip in directionally solidified Mo-alloy micropillars - Part I: Nominally dislocation-free pillars
J Zimmermann, H Van Swygenhoven, C Marichal, S Van Petegem, C Borca, B Bartova, E Oveisi, C Hebert
Acta Materialia 60, 4604 (2012).

Slip in directionally solidified Mo-alloy micropillars-Part II: Pillars containing defects
J Zimmermann, H Van Swygenhoven, S Van Petegem, C Borca
Acta Materialia 60, 4614 (2012).

The Use of Laue Microdiffraction to Study Small-scale Plasticity
H Van Swygenhoven, S Van Petegem
JOM 62, 36 (2010).

Effects of focused ion beam milling and pre-straining on the microstructure of directionally solidified molybdenum pillars: A Laue diffraction analysis
J. Zimmermann, S. Van Petegem, H. Bei, D. Grolimund, E.P. George, H. Van Swygenhoven
Scripta Materialia 62, 746 (2010)

On the plasticity of small-scale nickel-titanium shape memory alloys
C.P. Frick, B.G. Clark, A.S. Schneider,R. Maaß, S. Van Petegem, H. Van Swygenhoven
Scripta Materialia 62, 492 (2010)

Smaller is stronger: the effect of strain hardening
R. Maaß, S. Van Petegem, D. Ma, J. Zimmermann, D. Grolimund,F. Roters, H. Van Swygenhoven, D. Raabe
Acta Materialia 57, 5996 (2009)

In-situ Laue diffraction of metallic micropillars
R. Maaß, S. Van Petegem, C.N. Borca and H. Van Swygenhoven
Materials Science and Engineering A 524, 40 (2009)

On the initial microstructure of metallic micropillars
R. Maaß, S. Van Petegem, J. Zimmermann, C.N. Borca and H. Van Swygenhoven
Scripta Materialia 59, 471 (2008)

Crystal rotation in Cu single crystal micropillars: In situ Laue and electron backscatter diffraction
R. Maaß, S. Van Petegem, D. Grolimund, H. Van Swygenhoven, D. Kiener, G. Dehm
Applied Physics Letters 92, 071905 (2008)

Time-Resolved Laue Diffraction of Deforming Micropillars
R. Maaß, S. Van Petegem, H. Van Swygenhoven, P.M. Derlet, C.A. Volkert, D. Grolimund
Physical Review Letters 99, 145505 (2007)
Movies on Laue spot dynamics can be found at

A strong micropillar containing a low angle grain boundary
R. Maaß, S. Van Petegem, H. Van Swygenhoven, M. Uchic
Applied Physics Letters 91, 131909 (2007)

Defect structure in micropillars using x-ray microdiffraction
R. Maaß, D. Grolimund, S. Van Petegem, M. Willimann, M. Jensen, H. Van Swygenhoven, T. Lehnert, M.A.M. Gijs, C.A. Volkert, E.T. Lilleodden, R. Schwaiger
Applied Physics Letters 89, 151905 (2006)