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In Situ Characterization of Processing

National Laboratories:Los Alamos
Processing/Manufacturing:Fabrication and Synthesis

Proton, neutron, and x-ray probes are used for real-time process monitoring of phase transformations and microstructural evolution. As part of this capability, Los Alamos National Laboratory can provide subject matter experts in phase transformations (liquid-solid and solid-state), kinetics, microstructure, and property development with imaging and scattering. Novel probes are applied to understand materials processing, from more traditional solidification technologies to advanced materials manufacturing (casting, additive manufacturing, welding, thermal, and/or deformation processing). Staff also have LANL and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) user facility access.

Capability Bounds

Depending on the material, characterization technique (imaging or scattering with protons, neutrons, or x-rays), and processing route, typical sample sizes may vary from mm to m. Typical sample thicknesses may range from µm to cm, and imaging field of view may range from 1 to 120 mm2. Imaging spatial resolution may range from 0.5 to 280 µm, imaging exposure times may range from ns to s, imaging frame rates may vary from 0.1 to 1000 Hz, scattering count times may range from s to h, and scattering spot sizes may range from nm to mm.

Unique Aspects

In situ phase transformations, microstructural evolution, and materials processing experiments all were developed by LANL staff, making the expertise for this work unique to the laboratory.


User proposal submission for both LANL and DOE user facilities are required to access this capability.


  • J.W. Gibbs, D. Tourret, P.J. Gibbs, S.D. Imhoff, M.J. Gibbs, B.A. Walker, K. Fezzaa, A.J. Clarke. “In situ x-ray observations of dendritic fragmentation during directional solidification of a Sn-Bi alloy”, JOM 2015, DOI: 10.1007/s11837-015-1646-7
  • A.J. Clarke, D. Tourret, S.D. Imhoff, P.J. Gibbs, K. Fezzaa, J.C. Cooley, W.-K. Lee, A. Deriy, B.M. Patterson, P.A. Papin, K.D. Clarke, R.D. Field, J.L. Smith. “X-ray imaging and controlled solidification of Al-Cu alloys toward creating microstructures by design”, Advanced Engineering Materials 2015, 17(4):454-459
  • A.J. Clarke, S.D. Imhoff, P.J. Gibbs, J. C. Cooley, C. Morris, F.E. Merrill, B.J. Hollander, F. Mariam, T.J. Ott, M.R. Barker, T.J. Tucker, W.-K. Lee, K. Fezzaa, A. Deriy, B.M. Patterson, K.D. Clarke, J.D. Montalvo, R.D. Field, D.J. Thoma, J.L. Smith, D.F. Teter. “Proton radiography peers into metal solidification”, Scientific Reports 2013, 3:2020,

Information Link(s)


Amy Clarke