EDAX Granted Patent for Neighbor Pattern Averaging and Reindexing (NPAR™) Routine

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

MAHWAH, NJ, October 18, 2017 – EDAX Inc., a business unit of AMETEK Materials Analysis Division, has been granted a U.S. patent for the technology that underlies its NPAR™ Electron Backscatter Diffraction (EBSD) routine in EDAX’s TEAM™ and OIM Analysis™ software packages.

The NPAR™ method utilizes an innovative approach to improve the indexing quality of individual pixels in an EBSD map by averaging the diffraction patterns from a kernel of pixels around the pixel of interest.

“NPAR™ is not a data-fixing tool in the traditional EBSD sense,” comments Matt Nowell, EBSD Product Manager at EDAX. “It actually improves the signal for better indexing. The method has been found most beneficial for those samples that previously provided low-quality diffraction patterns, such as strained metals; beam sensitive materials; and low backscatter materials.”

Noise can reduce EBSD indexing performance by hindering the detection of diffraction bands. Band detection depends on the signal to noise ratio (SNR) within an EBSD pattern. Noise is introduced into EBSD patterns by amplifying the signal to obtain faster camera frame rates and operating the camera at higher speeds with lower SEM beam currents.

When noise levels exceed allowable levels, band detection becomes unreliable and index performance suffers. Those levels can be lowered by reducing the gain on the detector or by averaging multiple frames together. Those approaches, however, increase the time needed to perform both pattern collection and orientation mapping.

With the patented NPAR™ method, the collected EBSD pattern is averaged with all the closest surrounding EBSD patterns on a mapping grid, which is then indexed. Its approach is similar to frame averaging in reducing the image noise, but without the associated time penalty.

NPAR™ improves the SNR of the pattern and allows the EBSD detector to operate at higher gain settings without sacrificing indexing performance. With NPAR™, an EBSD detector can operate faster at a given beam current or run at lower beam currents and voltages. NPAR™ also improves the quality of the data collected under traditional settings.

More information can be found at http://www.edax.com/products/ebsd/npar.


EDAX is the acknowledged leader in Energy Dispersive Microanalysis, Electron Backscatter Diffraction and Micro X-ray Fluorescence instrumentation. EDAX designs, manufactures, installs and services high-quality products and systems for leading companies in the semiconductor, metals, geological, pharmaceutical, biomaterials, and ceramics markets.

Since 1962, EDAX has used its knowledge and experience to develop ultra-sensitive silicon radiation sensors, digital electronics and specialized application software that facilitate solutions to research, development and industrial requirements.

EDAX is a unit of the Materials Analysis Division of AMETEK, Inc., which is a leading global manufacturer of electronic instruments and electromechanical devices with annual sales of approximately $4.0 billion. For further information about EDAX, contact:
Sue Arnell
EDAX, Inc.
91 McKee Drive, Mahwah, NJ 07430
Tel: (201) 529-4880
Fax: (201) 529-3156
E-mail: sue.arnell@ametek.com
Website: www.edax.com