Electron Channelling Pattern (ECP) is useful for determination of the precise orientation of individual grain observed under a scanning electron microscope. It is necessary to analyse a large number of crystals to obtain crystallographic information which is useful to understand and control the properties of various materials.
However, previously reported ECP methods required a laborious work and/or expertness.
In order to save time and labor, in this study, ECPS are recorded to hard disks linked to the personal computer, followed by orientation analysis by image-processing (image enhancement, Hough transformation, detection of lines, etc.), which leads to automatic determination of the crystallographic orientation.
The functions of the present system are summarized as follows ;
(1)The achievement rate of automatic drawing-and-analysis in the routine work is more than 95%(about 2300 grains analysed).
(2)240 images are handled over one night (16h) with no operator (4min/image).
(3) ECP images, which are hard to analyse automatically due to broadness, can be easily treated by manual method (1 min/image).
The development of this system has achieved decrease in labor. Furthermore, even unpracticed person can easily operate it.
In the future, completely automatic ECP analysis without any operator will become possible by attaching an automatic specimen-displacing stage to the ECP/SEM.