X-ray Diffraction

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X-ray diffraction techniques are a family of non-destructive analytical techniques which reveal information about the crystal structure, chemical composition, and physical properties of materials and thin films.  These techniques are based on observing the scattered intensity of an X-ray beam hitting a sample as a function of incident and scattered angle, polarization, and wavelength or energy.

A range of X-ray diffraction equipment is available across the four ICAM universities:

  • X-ray Diffraction (XRD) and ancillary facilities at The University of Manchester include:
    • Bruker D8 Advance, employing a Göbel mirror, long soller slits and a 9 position sample changer this system is optimised for general thin film samples and coatings. It can also operate with a capillary or temperature stage attachment (Anton Paar TTK450 chamber).
    • Bruker D8 Advance PSD, a dedicated variable temperature diffractometer platform. Hosting the MRI Environmental chamber along with an MBraun PS detector quick high quality diffraction patterns can be collected whilst autonomously exploring temperature and sample phase space.
    • PANalytical MiniPal 4 EDXRF, non-destructive elemental analysis from sodium to uranium can be undertaken using Energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) using the compact, benchtop PANalytical MiniPal 4 system.
    • Proto AXRD, with the state of the art Mythen 1K detector, from Dectris, this little 600 W benchtop diffractometer system can rapidly plough through samples from solid monoliths to powders with a range of compositions with ease.
    • Proto Modular Mapping, one of two dedicated sin2ψ residual stress diffractometers this unit can accommodate large samples up to two metres in size. With three x-ray tube anodes (Cu, Cr and Mn) virtually all materials are accessible.
  • Custom built cells at the University of Cambridge include:
    • High Pressure X-ray Cell. Diamond anvil cell with heating capabilities, designed for X-ray diffraction and IR/Raman spectroscopy experiments.
    • High Temperature Dynamic Mechanical Analysis. Specimens can be heated to ~750°C. Collection of x-rays can be phase locked onto the dynamic force applied by the DMA so that x-ray spectra from the deformation and relaxation cycles can be collected independently.
    • Low-Temperature Diffractometer which incorporates a helium chiller with temperatures as low as 10K.
  • Calorimetric Diffractometer at the University of Cambridge allows X-ray spectra to be collected at the same time as calorimetric measurements.