Applications of Mg-based alloys at elevated temperatures are limited by the low melting point of Mg. This difficulty can be overcome by an addition of rare earth elements. A number of novel promising Mg-based hardenable alloys with high creep resistance at elevated temperatures have been developed, e.g. Mg-Gd, Mg-Mn-Sc etc. Despite the favorable strength and thermal stability, a disadvantage of these alloys consists in a low ductility, which is not sufficient for industrial applications. Grain refinement is known as a way how to improve ductility. It has been demonstrated that an extreme grain size reduction can be achieved by methods based on severe plastic deformation (SPD). In the present work we used high pressure torsion (HPT), which is the most efficient in grain size reduction among the SPD-based techniques, for preparation of selected Mg-based alloys with ultra fine grained (UFG) structure. Microstructure investigations and defect studies of HPT deformed UFG Mg-based alloys are presented in this paper. The extraordinary properties of UFG materials are closely related with defects (grain boundaries, dislocations) introduced by HPT. Positron lifetime (PL) spectroscopy [
] is a well-established non-destructive technique with high sensitivity to open volume defects. It enables identification of the defect types present in the material studied and determination of defect densities. Thus, PL spectroscopy represents an ideal tool for defect studies of UFG materials. In the present work PL spectroscopy was combined with X-ray diffraction (XRD), microhardness measurements, and direct observations of microstructure by TEM.