Indexing Diffraction Patterns

  • David B. Williams
  • C. Barry Carter


Since the strength of TEM is that you can obtain both crystallographic data and an image from the same part of your specimen, a method for interpreting the DP is essential. The first step in any interpretation is to index your pattern. You can proceed in several ways, depending on how much information you already know about your specimen. We will begin the chapter by considering the experimental approach with the aim of being able to identify shortcuts whenever possible. The experienced microscopist will readily identify many patterns just by looking at them, but will still need to index new patterns or to identify unfamiliar ones. The fastest and most efficient experimental approach may take advantage of several concepts covered in the preceding two chapters and the following three.


Orientation Relationship Zone Axis Radial Distribution Function Great Circle Stereographic Projection 
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General References

  1. Andrews, K.W., Dyson, D.J., Keown, S.R. (1971) Interpretation of Electron Diffraction Patterns, 2nd edition, Plenum Press, New York. An essential resource for anyone using electron diffraction.Google Scholar
  2. Burger, M.J. (1978) Elementary Crystallography, MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts. One of the classics.Google Scholar
  3. Cullity, B.D. (1978) Elements of X-ray Diffraction, 2nd edition, Addison-Wesley, Reading, Massachusetts. The standard text on X-ray analysis.Google Scholar
  4. Edington, J.W. (1976) Practical Electron Microscopy in Materials Science,Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York. Part 2 of the book is full of useful hints and examples.Google Scholar
  5. Giacovazzo, C., Monaco, H.L., Viterbo, D., Scordari, F., Gilli, G., Zanotti, G., Catti, M. (1992) Fundamentals of Crystallography, Oxford University Press and IUCr. Oxford. A comprehensive reference book.Google Scholar
  6. Glazer, A.M. (1987) The Structure of Crystals,Adam Hilger, Bristol, United Kingdom. The essentials condensed into a 50-page monograph.Google Scholar
  7. Hammond, C. (1992) Introduction to Crystallography, 2nd edition, Royal Microscopical Society, Oxford, United Kingdom. An excellent compact introduction to the subject with a nice section on the biographies of crystallographers.Google Scholar
  8. Johari, O., Thomas, G. (1969) The Stereographic Projection and its Applications in Techniques of Metals Research, (Ed. R.F. Bunshah), Interscience, New York. A very helpful book if you can find a copy.Google Scholar
  9. Kelly, A., Groves, G.W. (1970) Crystallography and Crystal Defects, Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA. The original out-of-print 1970 edition has been reprinted by TechBooks, 4012 Williamsburg Court, Fairfax, Virginia 22032. A classic which all materials scientists should already have on their shelves. This is not only the standard introductory text on this subject but also gives a good review of the stereographic projection.Google Scholar
  10. Klein, C., Hurlbut, C.S. (1985) Manual of Mineralogy, Wiley, New York. This is the modem version of the original classic by James D. Dana. It gives an excellent readable review of the stereographic projection and its relation to the globe plus basic crystallography.Google Scholar
  11. Smaill, J.S. (1972) Metallurgical Stereographic Projections,Adam Hilger Ltd., London. Chapter 20 is another source for stereographic projections and the Wulff net.Google Scholar
  12. Vainshtein, B.K. (1981) Modern Crystallography, I—IV, Springer-Verlag, New York.Google Scholar

Specific References

  1. Cockayne, D.J.H., McKenzie, D., Mueller, D. (1991) Microscopy, Microanalysis, Microstructure 2, 359.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Graczyk, J.F., Chaudhari, P. (1973) Phys. Stat. Sol. b58, 163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Howie, A. (1988) in High-Resolution Transmission Microscopy and Associated Techniques (Eds. P. Buseck, J. Cowley, L. Eyring), p. 607, Oxford University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  4. Lyman, C.E.,Can, M.J. (1992) in Electron Diffraction Techniques, 2 (Ed. J.M. Cowley), p. 373, Oxford University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  5. Randle, V. (1993) The Measurement of Grain Boundary Geometry, Institute of Physics, Bristol, United Kingdom.Google Scholar
  6. Rudee, M.L., Howie, A. (1972) Phil. Mag. 25, 1001.Google Scholar
  7. Tietz, L.A., Carter, C.B., McKeman, S. (1995) Ultramicroscopy 60, 241.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Vainshtein, B.K., Zuyagin, B.B., Avilov, A.V. (1992) in Electron Diffraction Techniques, 1 (Ed. J.M. Cowley), p. 216, Oxford University Press, New York.Google Scholar

References for Crystallographic Data

  1. Stereographic projections and the Wulff net can be obtained from SPI Supplies, P.O. Box 656, Westchester, Pennsylvania 19831–0656 ( 1800 242 4774 ).Google Scholar
  2. Donnay, J.D.H., Ondik, H.M. (1972) Crystal Data: Determinative Tables, 3rd edition, National Bureau of Standards, US Dept. of Commerce, Washington, DC. This source lists the ratios of lattice parameters for different materials.Google Scholar
  3. Wells, A.F. (1984) Structural Inorganic Chemistry, 6th edition, Oxford University Press, New York. The source for crystal-structure data in inorganic materials.Google Scholar
  4. Villars, P.,Calvert, L.D. (1985) Pearson’s Handbook of Crystallographic Data for Intermetallic Phases, ASM, Metals Park, Ohio is now in many volumes covering an ever-growing number of materials.Google Scholar
  5. ICDD Powder Diffraction File is produced by the Intemational Center for Diffraction Data (Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, 1990 ). It is available in various formats. Most researchers favor the CD-ROM version.Google Scholar
  6. ICDD Elemental and Lattice Spacing Index is produced by the same Center but is only presently available in printed form. This index used to be known as the ASTM cards (3“ by 5” index cards!). Each file gives the d-spacings and X-ray diffraction peak intensities. These files should be in a more useful computer-accessible form.Google Scholar
  7. NIST Crystal Data can be purchased as a CD-ROM or on tape. Parts are from the Donnay-Ondik books (see above). A program called NBS*SEARCH will allow you to search this database. These files give not only crystallographic data but also physical data on more than 100,000 organic and inorganic materials. Obtainable from NIST Crystal Data Center, NIST, Gaithersburg, MD 20899.Google Scholar
  8. NIST/Sandia/ICDD Electron Diffraction Database has become available thanks to the tireless efforts of M. Can, who has also provided methods for searching this database on a PC.Google Scholar
  9. Desktop Microscopist (see Section 1.5). This program can look up crystal data and plot out the diffraction pattern.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • David B. Williams
    • 1
  • C. Barry Carter
    • 2
  1. 1.Lehigh UniversityBethlehemUSA
  2. 2.University of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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