The microstructure in materials affects a wide range of physical properties like hardness, toughness and wear resistance.
The microstructure describes the structure of a material consisting of its phase, grain size and morphology, defects, etc. Differences in the microstructure in materials with the same chemical composition can strongly affect a wide range of physical properties like e.g. hardness, toughness and wear resistance. The study of the microstructure is therefore of high importance to understand the resulting properties of a material.
In our laboratory there are multiple microscopes for studying the microstructure on different length scales. Light optical microscopes (link to LOM) in combination with different etching methods can be used to study features in the micrometer to millimeter range. Electron microscopy (link to EM) and its integrated techniques (link to EBSD, EDS/WDS) allow the study of the microstructure down to the nanometer (SEM) and Å (TEM) length scale.