The application of EBSD (electron backscatter diffraction) technique has pioneered a brand-new field of microstrucutral analysis of rocks. In combination of the application of other attachments (e.g. EDS) of SEM, the EBSD technique could provide chances for integrated studies of rock microstructures, compositions and crystallographic framework in micro-field.
With EBSD technique can precisely and rapidly determine the crystallographic orientations and describe grain boundaries of crystal grains, and provide crystallographic data for grains with low angle grain boundaries. Such data further provide constraints for deformation mechanisms of rock deformation. The EBSD technique is also a powerful technique for the study of crystallographic textures and deformation mechanisms of high crystal category and opaque minerals. Very fine grains (or subgrains) with sizes of micron to nano scales are easily obtained with the EBSD technique (of about 20 nm spatial and 0.3° angular resolutions).
The EBSD technique is also widely applied to phase identification, microstrain analysis and mineral exsolution analysis, suggesting wider application of the technique in microstructural analysis and related field. A breakthrough of microstructural analysis of rocks is expected with wide application of EBSD techniques. EBSD will become an indispensable technique which enhances rapid development of deformation mechanisms of rocks and rheology of the lithosphere.