Part of the Oxford Instruments Group


Symmetry is the revolutionary all-in-one EBSD detector based on groundbreaking CMOS technology. Exceptional performance for all EBSD applications is combined with ease of use and a range of innovative design features.

  • Guaranteed indexing speeds in excess of 3000 pps 

  • 1244 x 1024 pixel resolution

  • Extreme sensitivity for low energy and low current analyses

  • Unique low distortion fibre-optic lens

  • Software controlled detector tilting

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Symmetry uses a customised CMOS sensor to unlock a unique and powerful combination of speed, sensitivity and diffraction pattern detail. Symmetry, in combination with the AZtec software, delivers exceptional performance on all materials and for all measurements. The highest analysis speed of Symmetry, in excess of 3000 pps, is more than twice that of any CCD-based EBSD detector on the market yet this is achieved without high beam currents or excessive pixel binning. The detector’s unparalleled sensitivity is due to the unique fibre-optic lens system, ensuring a near-ideal detector efficiency. This means that these high speeds can be achieved even on challenging, real-world samples such as multiphase light metal alloys or deformed steels.

In addition, Symmetry can collect distortion-free, megapixel resolution EBSPs for detailed strain and phase analyses. This is a detector to suit all applications, enhanced by innovative features such as software controlled tilting (with dynamic calibration) and a unique proximity sensor.

Symmetry is truly a game changer and is already opening up new developments in even the most exacting of applications.

The Symmetry detector has an outstanding performance coupled with ease of use, making it the ideal detector for all EBSD applications:

  • Guaranteed indexing speeds in excess of 3000 pps using only 12 nA beam current
  • Typical indexing speeds >3400 pps
  • 156 x 128 pixel pattern resolution at maximum speed – 16 times more pixels than a fast CCD detector
  • Full resolution (1244 x 1024) patterns – ideal for high resolution (HR)-EBSD strain analyses
  • Unique low distortion fibre-optics, ensuring class-leading sensitivity and an angular precision below 0.05°.
  • Optimised phosphor screen - coupled with fibre-optics ensures high-quality patterns at low doses and low beam energies – resulting in maximum spatial resolution
  • Typical sensitivity (steel / Ni): >450 pps/nA (at 10 kV) and >860 pps/nA (at 20kV) with 99% indexing
  • Seamless EDS integration even at the highest speeds
  • Software controlled tilting interface coupled with autocalibration – perfect positioning and indexing whatever the sample size
  • Bellows SEM interface, maintaining the microscope’s vacuum integrity
  • Unique proximity sensor – detects potential collisions before they happen and automatically moves the detector to a safe position
  • Simple and intuitive detector settings, ensuring optimum results every time
  • Five integrated forescatter detectors, providing full colour complementary channelling contrast and atomic number contrast images.

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Symmetry, the world's first EBSD detector based on CMOS sensor technology, is set to revolutionise EBSD analysis.

CMOS EBSD Detector Range

Discover the market leading range of EBSD detectors based on CMOS technology: a world first in innovative technology.


This 16 page brochure illustrates why AZtec is the leading EBSD analysis platform on the market. Covers both hardware and software.

EBSD Explained

EBSD Explained is a 24 page tutorial that not only gives newcomers a solid foundation in the underlining science of the subject, but also shows how the theory is applied in practice to get reliable and accurate EBSD results.


Application Notes using Symmetry

EBSD analysis of Lead Halide Perovskites using Symmetry

Methylammonium Lead Halides (MALHs) are organic crystal compounds used in solar cells, LEDs, LASERs and photodetectors. Recent improvements to EBSD detectors now allows for their characterisation of grain size and texture.

Fast Characterisation of Minerals with Similar Crystal Structures

Combining electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) techniques for geological sample characterisation, helps to unlock even more information on the likely formation and history of the sample.

High Sensitivity EBSD Detectors

CMOS-based EBSD detectors enable faster and more sensitive analyses of samples. Sensitivity is related to the full-system efficiency, or Detective Quantum Efficiency (DQE).

Why high sensitivity is essential for unlocking the power of CMOS-based EBSD detectors

CMOS-based EBSD detectors enable faster and more sensitive analyses of samples.

High resolution EBSD Mapping of Martensitic Steel

Martensitic structures are traditionally challenging to measure with EBSD. Here, the sensitivity and pattern detail provided by Symmetry enables exceptional results from a martensitic stainless steel.

Rapid Characterisation of Steel and Ni

In this application note Symmetry is used to characterise a deformed Ni superalloy and a large area across a welded duplex steel.

Fast Characterisation of Deformed Quartz Rocks

A relatively simple geological sample, a quartz mylonite, is here characterised in a matter of minutes using Symmetry, collecting data at almost 1000 pps.

Symmetry: High Sensitivity for Beam-sensitive Materials

In this application, Symmetry is used to characterise a challenging biomaterial, shell nacre, and its performance is compared to conventional CCD-based detectors.

Detailed Study of a Bivalve Shell

An in-depth look at the structures of a mussel shell, characterised using Symmetry. Both calcite and nanostructured aragonite nacre are measured with an unprecedented level of detail and speed.

Transmission Kikuchi Diffraction (TKD) of metals

Successful TKD analyses require an EBSD detector with both high speed and high sensitivity. The suitability of Symmetry for TKD is demonstrated here on both deformed Al alloys and nanocrystalline Ni.

Symmetry advantage: high angular resolution at high speeds

This technical bulletin looks at the effect of collecting high resolution patterns at high speeds on metals: astonishing angular resolution, even at 3000 pps.

Characterising complex rock samples

An eclogite sample containing 10 phases has been rapidly analysed using integrated EBSD and EDS. The performance of Symmetry enables high pattern resolution and good indexing, even at 250 pps.


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