Software for grain boundary analysis of atom probe data

The structures of grain boundaries (GBs) have been investigated in great detail. However, much less is known about their chemical features, owing to the experimental difficulties to probe these features at the near-atomic scale inside bulk material specimens. Atom probe tomography (APT) is a tool capable of accomplishing this task, with an ability to quantify chemical characteristics at near-atomic scale.

Using APT data sets, we introduced a machine-learning-based approach for the automated quantification of chemical features of GBs. We trained a convolutional neural network (CNN) using twenty thousand synthesized images of grain interiors, GBs, or triple junctions. Such a trained CNN automatically detects the locations of GBs from APT data. Those GBs are then subjected to compositional mapping and analysis, including revealing their in-plane chemical decoration patterns. This machine-learning-based approach provides quantitative, unbiased, and automated access to GB chemical analyses, serving as an enabling tool for new discoveries related to interface thermodynamics, kinetics, and the associated chemistry-structure-property relations.

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