Minerals are often riddled with microstructures when observed under the electron microscope. Although the observation and classification of microstructures such as twin boundaries, anti-phase boundaries, exsolution lamellae etc., has been a longstanding activity of mineralogists and crystallographers it has only been very recently that we started to understand the enormous importance of microstructures for the physical and chemical behaviour of minerals.

Let us take a twin boundary as an example. Illustrations of twinned minerals have decorated books on mineralogy for more than a century. A first major step forward was made when Burger (1945) noticed that twinning can have different...

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