TEM in situ Cube-Corner Indentation Analysis Using ViBe Motion Detection Algorithm

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Transmission electron microscopic (TEM) in situ mechanical testing is a promising method for understanding plasticity in shallow ion irradiated layers and other volume-limited materials. One of the simplest TEM in situ experiments is cube-corner indentation of a lamella, but the subsequent analysis and interpretation of the experiment is challenging, especially in engineering materials with complex microstructures. In this work, we: (a) develop MicroViBE, a motion detection and background subtraction-based post-processing approach, and (b) demonstrate the ability of MicroViBe, in combination with post-mortem TEM imaging, to carry out an unbiased qualitative interpretation of TEM indentation videos. We focus this work around a Fe-9%Cr oxide dispersion strengthened (ODS) alloy, irradiated with Fe2+ ions to 3 dpa at 500 °C. MicroViBe identifies changes in Laue contrast that are induced by the indentation; these changes accumulate throughout the mechanical loading to generate a “heatmap” of features in the original TEM video that change the most during the loading. Dislocation loops with b = ½ <111> identified by post-mortem scanning TEM (STEM) imaging correspond to hotspots on the heatmap, whereas positions of dislocation loops with b = <100> do not correspond to hotspots. Further, MicroViBe enables consistent, objective quantitative approximation of the b = ½ <111> dislocation loop number density.