Philosophical Magazine 91 no. 7-9 (2011) 1256-1264

Synchrotron X-ray microdiffraction was used to characterize the deformation structure of single crystalline Cu micro-tensile specimens which were oriented for single slip. The 3-µm thick samples were strained in situ in a scanning electron microscope (SEM). Electron microscopy observations revealed glide steps at the surface indicating single slip. While the slip steps at the surface must have formed by the predominant activation of the primary glide system, analysis of Laue peak streaking directions revealed that, even at low strains, dislocations had been activated and stored on an unpredicted slip system. Furthermore, the µLaue scans showed that multiple slip takes over at a later state of deformation.