Comparison of compositional and morphological atom-probe tomography analyses for a multicomponent Fe-Cu steel

R. Prakash Kolli*, David N. Seidman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations


A multicomponent Fe-Cu based steel is studied using atom-probe tomography. The precipitates are identified using two different methodologies and subsequent morphological and compositional results are compared. The precipitates are first identified using a maximum separation distance algorithm, the envelope method, and then by a concentration threshold method, an isoconcentration surface. We discuss in detail the proper selection of the parameters needed to delineate precipitates utilizing both methods. The results of the two methods exhibit a difference of 44 identified, precipitates, which can be attributed to differences in the basis of both methods and the sensitivity of our results to user-prescribed parameters. The morphology of the precipitates, characterized by four different precipitate radii and precipitate size distribution functions (PSDs), are compared and evaluated. A variation of less than ∼8% is found between the different radii. Two types of concentration profiles are compared, giving qualitatively similar results. Both profiles show Cu-rich precipitates containing Fe with elevated concentrations of Ni, Al, and Mn near the heterophase interfaces. There are, however, quantitative disagreements due to differences in the basic foundations of the two analysis methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)272-284
Number of pages13
JournalMicroscopy and Microanalysis
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2007


  • Atom-probe tomography
  • Concentration profiles
  • Envelope method
  • Fu-Cu steel
  • High-strength low-carbon (HSLC) steel
  • Maximum separation distance
  • Precipitate morphology
  • Proxigram

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation


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