Part of the Oxford Instruments Group


Collecting good quality data is only the beginning of any complete EBSD analysis. AZtecCrystal provides all the necessary tools to process and interrogate your EBSD data and to solve your materials problems. Seamlessly integrated with AZtecHKL or operated as a standalone program, AZtecCrystal sets the standard in EBSD data processing for experts and novices alike.

  • Optimised for fast processing and large datasets

  • Intuitive layout with selectable viewing modes

  • Full map, texture and boundary display, and analysis

  • Multiple advanced microstructure interrogation tools

  • Intelligent data handling with flexible templates

  • Advanced Pattern Matching data enhancement with AZtecCrystal MapSweeper

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AZtecCrystal is a comprehensive software package for processing data collected using electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD). It is designed to have the ease of use necessary for newcomers to the EBSD technique, yet to have the advanced tools required for in-depth materials characterisation and diffraction pattern reanalysis required by more experienced operators. Whatever you require from your EBSD data analysis, AZtecCrystal is sure to deliver.


  • Multi-modal display: view the analytical tools necessary to solve every materials problem
  • Multi-layered map creation and display with no component limits
  • Ideal for all computers, from laptops to workstations


  • Quaternion-based algorithms for fastest data processing
  • Handles any size dataset from AZtec with ease: even the largest datasets are processed within seconds
  • Relevant data and settings are stored within each project for fast reloading


  • Designed around intelligent routines, such as machine-learning phase classification, weighted Burgers vector dislocation analysis and rapid parent grain reconstruction
  • Comprehensive grain size analysis to ASTM standards with over 10 display options
  • Smart defaults and settings for all materials

Data Management

  • Utilises new flexible, open HDF5 data format (*.h5oina)
  • Stored EBSD patterns can be embedded within *.h5oina data files
  • Simple export and launch directly from within AZtec
  • Varied demonstration datasets, used extensively in the comprehensive Help system
  • Visual preview of recently loaded datasets
  • Stores all map, pole figure, ODF, measurement, subset and material settings within each dataset
  • Advanced, customisable data cleaning, including automated void/crack detection, Kuwahara orientation filtering and pseudosymmetric error removal
  • High-speed quaternion-based processing optimised for datasets up to 64 million analysis points
  • Automatic calculation of orientation and phase maps, and grain size upon opening new datasets
  • Advanced template tools to enable quick customisation of all displays and calculations
  • Automated processing of datasets using intelligent batch template tool
  • Flexible image and data export from all displays within AZtecCrystal

User Interface

  • Intuitive interface with AZtec theming and shared layout concept
  • Multiple, user-selectable Viewing Modes to access the necessary analysis tools
  • Separate project tree and settings panels for simple data and tool management
  • Main workspace panes can be undocked for viewing on multiple monitors
  • User-selectable zooming for work on different screen resolutions
  • Simple switch between Data Analysis mode and MapSweeper data enhancement mode
  • Multiple language support

Map Display and Analysis

  • Map display in either tabbed or (linked) tile form
  • Multiple map interaction mode (including point and grain selection, profile measurement and subset creation)
  • Compact legend display, exportable with maps
  • Unlimited, customisable map creation using individual map layers – no limits to the number of layers in any map
  • Multiple map layers, each fully customisable, including:
      • Pattern quality and misfit
      • SEM image colours and values
      • Orientation colouring
      • Texture components
      • Strain and deformation (including GND density, Kernel Average Misorientation)
      • EDS element distribution
      • Grain size, shape, and internal orientation distribution
      • Grain / subgrain / phase boundaries
      • Special boundaries (including twins and coincident site lattice boundaries)
      • Orientation and lattice relationships
      • Dislocation and weighted Burgers vector information
  • Separate display of all individual map values and distributions
  • Misorientation profile analysis tool, with variable width and multiple component display
  • Map navigator, to show position relative to full dataset area

Texture Analysis

  • Full, customisable pole figure (PF) display
  • Full, customisable inverse pole figure (IPF) display
  • Full orientation distribution function (ODF) analysis 
  • User-defined settings, including ODF calculation and display, density contouring, projection selection etc.
  • Pole plot calculation and display
  • Applied sample symmetry option
  • Data rotation to correct for sample mounting errors

Grain Size Analysis

  • User-defined grain size measurement
  • High-speed algorithms – 20,000 grains measured in < 15s
  • Multiple grain model displays
  • Grain size histogram display with arithmetic and area-weighted statistics
  • Grain size number given to ASTM E2627 standard
  • Filtered grain size list for advanced data subsetting
  • Twinned grain statistical analysis
  • Parameter correlation tool to identify relationships between grain-based measurements

SEM Image Viewer – display of electron images with post-acquisition drift / distortion correction

  • Selection and display of any electron image from the same AZtec site of interest (e.g. forescatter, BSE or SE images)
  • EBSD map overlay with adjustable transparency
  • Comprehensive distortion correction to correct of drift during EBSD mapping:
    • Simple mode to correct for constant drift or distortion
    • Extended mode using co-localisation of features in the electron image and EBSD map
    • Correct EBSD data can be saved as a new dataset for subsequent analysis

Data Subsetting

  • Core functionality in AZtecCrystal enabling detailed interrogation of data
  • Subsets defined in multiple ways:
    • Directly from maps
    • Directly from ODFs and pole/inverse pole figures
    • Directly from filtered grain lists
    • Directly from any parameter range (e.g pattern quality, X-ray counts, Schmid factor, etc.)
  • Flexible subset manipulation tools (morphological / combination / phase)
  • Subsets can be used to create new datasets
  • Full Boundary Analysis – complete characterisation of boundary populations within a dataset
      • Overall boundary statistics including grain, phase, CSL, and special boundaries
      • Intelligent "True Length" algorithm to compensate for boundary orientation bias
      • Boundary disorientation analysis with congruence statistics
      • M-index of texture strength 
      • Disorientation Distribution Function Analysis, providing a characteristic domain size for every dataset - ideal for parent grain size measurements 
      • Plotting of boundary rotation axes in sample or crystallographic coordinate

Advanced Tools

  • Classify Tool – an advanced, machine-learning tool for partitioning data into similar classes:
      • Utilises multiple map parameters simultaneously 
      • System learns via user-driven training
      • Ideal for discriminating between regions that cannot be separated using crystallography alone (e.g. ferrite, bainite and martensite or deformed and recrystallised fractions)
      • Classes can be converted into subsets for further analysis
      • Classification recipes can be stored in templates
  • Materials Properties – calculation and display of elastic properties of grains based on orientation information:
      • User-editable elastic coefficients database including common materials
      • Rapid calculation of 5 elastic properties (including Young’s modulus and shear modulus)
      • Map display to show spatial variation
      • Pole figure display for Young’s Modulus and Linear Compressibility to show variations with different loading directions
      • Bulk averages (Voigt, Reuss, Hill, and Geometric)
  • Parent Grain Analysis – reconstruct parent microstructures prior to displacive phase transformations:
      • Developed to work with all materials, including steels and Ti/Nb/Zr alloys
      • User-defined orientation relationship library with multiple standard entries
      • Orientation relationship refinement using user-defined training areas
      • Rapid reconstruction and display with excellent results
      • Reconstructed datasets saved as new projects for extensive interrogation and analysis
      • Capable of reconstructing large-scale parent microstructures (e.g. 1000s parent grains)
  • Dislocation Analysis Tool – rigorous, in-depth examination of dislocation type and density
      • Advanced dislocation analysis using the weighted Burgers vector method
      • Fast and rigorous, assumption-free analysis of weighted Burgers vector magnitudes and orientations
      • Map display of magnitudes, direction and weighted Burgers vectors (as arrows)
      • Display of weighted Burgers vector orientations in pole figures and inverse pole figures
      • Interactive mode to examine user-defined areas
      • Reveals unprecedented detail about Burgers vector orientations and slip system activity
      • Can provide geometrically necessary dislocation (GND) density measurements

AZtecCrystal MapSweeper – Dataset enhancement and re-indexing using pattern matching technology

  • Full EBSD pattern simulation using kinematical, 2-beam or many-beam dynamical models
  • Rapid image cross-correlation between experimental and simulated patterns
  • High accuracy calibration refinement tool
  • Pattern weighting or masking to improve matching for patterns with shadows or strong signal variations
  • Multiple “sweep” types:
      • Indexing sweep – full re-indexing using a novel dynamic template matching method
      • Refinement sweep – uses existing phase/orientation results to enhance data quality:
        • Orientation refinement
        • Pseudosymmetry correction (including measurement of crystal polarity) 
        • Phase discrimination
  • Repair sweep – corrects misindexed measurement errors and iteratively removes non-indexed points
  • Analyses use local pixel geometry calibration for improved precision
  • All analyses (except the “Indexing sweep”) can be carried out on a regular PC / laptop – no GPU required
  • Reanalysis speeds up to > 1000 Hz
  • Multiple applications – highly deformed materials, nanocrystalline samples, high-precision dislocation analysis, semiconductor polarity determination etc.
  • Find out more details about MapSweeper and application examples on

The Latest Developments in EBSD Software

We discuss the developments to our EBSD acquisition and data processing including a new guided workflow in AZtecHKL to assist with setting up and running Transmission Kikuchi Diffraction experiments and a versatile new Parent Grain Analysis viewing mode within AZtecCrystal that enables rapid reconstruction of parent microstructures.

Approx View time: 7 minutes

AZtecCrystal Demonstration  

Watch our latest interactive demonstration of AZtecCrystal in order to understand the speed, flexibility, and intelligence of the most modern EBSD data processing software on the market today! 


Tutorial: Effective EBSD data processing using AZtecCrystalAZtecCrystal Demonstration


This tutorial will cover fundamental steps of data processing such as data cleaning and grain size measurement, as well as touching on more advanced analytical tools such as parent grain reconstruction and the calculation of elastic properties.

Approx View time: 26 minutes


AZtecCrystal enables fast, high-throughput analyses of any EBSD dataset. Optimised for speed yet designed for ease-of-use, AZtecCrystal delivers the versatility of the EBSD technique for all levels of user expertise. The primary fields of application are as follows, but AZtecCrystal is ideally suited for any application of the EBSD technique:


Failure analysis in steels and superalloys     

  • Understanding the propagation of cracks through materials is key to designing materials that are less likely to fail
  • AZtecCrystal provides multiple tools that enable researchers to study the build up of plastic strain at crack tips and to investigate the relationship between grain structure, orientation and crack propagation

Determining prior austenite grain size in steels

  • In many materials, such as martensitic steels and Ti alloys, understanding the parent grain microstructure is important as it has a strong influence on the final grain size and hence the resulting material strength
  • AZtecCrystal incorporates a comprehensive parent grain analysis tool that reconstructs the parent microstructure based on orientation relationships, enabling full analyses of the grain size, boundary characteristics and texture of the prior austenitic microstructure

Measuring texture in rolled steels

  • Texture – the preferred crystallographic orientation of grains – controls many key materials properties and is a critical measurement in most processed metals, such as rolled steel
  • AZtecCrystal offers all the necessary tools for measuring and assessing texture in materials – orientation distribution functions (ODFs), pole and inverse pole figures, customisable texture component maps and numerous ways to determine texture fractions

Understanding deformation processes in rocks

  • Understanding the response of rocks to stress and strain as well as to variations in temperature and pressure is essential for an understanding of the processes that control plate tectonics, cause earthquakes and result in ore mineral emplacement
  • AZtecCrystal delivers rapid results highlighting deformation processes either in map form or via more advanced approaches such as boundary disorientation analysis

Elastic properties of additively manufactured Ti alloys

  • AZtecCrystal has a Materials Properties viewing mode that can calculate the elastic properties of materials based on each grain’s orientation
  • This allows researchers to instantly convert raw EBSD data into information about the key physical properties of materials, such as the relationship between build direction and yield strength in 3D printed Ti64 alloys

Grain boundary engineering of electronic components

  • The electrical performance of components is closely linked to the distribution and nature of crystallographic boundaries between and within grains – controlling this is known as grain boundary engineering
  • AZtecCrystal enables rapid characterisation of boundary populations, determining the proportion of special boundaries (such as coincident site lattice boundaries) and true determination of grain sizes on the nanometre to micrometre scale

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