X-ray diffraction contrast tomography  is a near-field X-ray diffraction imaging technique enabling simultaneous characterization of the 3D grain microstructure in polycrystalline materials fulfilling conditions in terms of grain size and intra-granular orientation spread. With the recent upgrade to a six-dimensional reconstruction framework  the method now provides access to spatially resolved crystal orientation maps with an orientation resolution comparable to EBSD and a spatial resolution consistent with the voxel size of the high resolution X-ray imaging detectors.
Like modern electron microscopes, state of the art X-ray diffraction imaging instruments can nowadays offer complementary imaging modalities like phase contrast tomography, topotomography  and dark-field microscopy . The latter two variants enable "zooming" on individual grains or grain neighborhoods, thereby enabling multi-scale characterization (1mm down to 100 nm) of slip activity and lattice rotations during incipient plasticity in metallic alloys. The experimental data are compared to image-based, crystal plasticity finite element simulations based on the 3D grain microstructure in an Al 2.5% Li alloy.