Symmetry: A High-Performance EBSD Detector Based on CMOS Technology

Electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) is a robust microanalysis method that enables rigorous characterization of the microstructural properties of crystalline materials. A high-performance EBSD detector is critical for the effectiveness of the method, impacting both speed and data quality.

Symmetry is a groundbreaking new EBSD detector from Oxford Instruments based on tailored CMOS technology, offering unmatched performance and ease of use:

  • More than 3000 indexed patterns per second (pps)
  • Up to 30x faster than current CCD-based detectors
  • Very high sensitivity for low current and low kV analyses
  • 1244 x 1024 pixel resolution, suitable for HR-EBSD applications
  • Innovative design features for simple operation
  • High-resolution patterns at all speeds

Symmetry: one detector for all applications without any compromise

CMOS Speed, Sensitivity and Versatility

Working at more than 3000 patterns per second, Symmetry is the world’s fastest EBSD detector. This step-change in performance delivers not only for regular applications, but also for 3D EBSD, large area mapping, and in situ experiments.

With unmatched sensitivity and dynamic range, Symmetry is suitable for even the most difficult applications, where low beam currents coupled with rapid, high-resolution patterns are a necessity. Sensitivity and speed are no longer compromised.

One detector suits all applications: features such as dynamic calibration, variable tilt, automated set-ups, and seamless EDS integration guarantee that everyone will obtain the correct results every time.

Symmetry is a revolutionary system. Its exceptional all-round performance will pave the way for exciting new developments in even the most exacting of applications.

Breakthrough Technology

CMOS-based cameras can be both rapid and sensitive and are already making a substantial impact in other technology fields. Symmetry integrates a tailored CMOS image sensor, enhanced for EBSD. It enables a level of performance never accomplished by any former EBSD detector. Whether the focus is on sensitivity or speed, there is no necessity for compromise.

The “One Choice - No Compromise” Detector

The unparalleled combination of sensitivity and speed of Symmetry guarantees the best performance across a broad range of samples. High acquisition speeds can be realized without losing any data quality. Symmetry’s high sensitivity means that, even on more difficult samples such as thin films or complex oxides, an order of magnitude increase in acquisition speed may be realized with the best possible data quality.


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
  • 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
  • Low distortion optics, ensuring an angular precision below 0.05°.
  • High sensitivity with an optimised phosphor screen, ensuring high quality patterns at low doses and low beam energies – resulting in maximum spatial resolution
  • 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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