Pages Navigation Menu

Keep on the Cutting Edge of Computer Tech and Military News

New HighTed-EDGE

A Working Guide to X-Ray Diffraction

A Working Guide to X-Ray Diffraction

The scattering of x-rays by matter, especially crystals, with accompanying variation in intensity due to interference effects. Also known as x-ray micro-diffraction.

It can be difficult to understand the subtleties of X-ray diffraction (XRD), especially if you’ve never used it before in the course of your crystallography studies. But what if you need the procedure for size determination or purity evaluation? Here’s a quick guide to XRD, its uses and its capabilities.

Purpose

Crystalline Structure

Crystalline Structure


XRD is an analytic technique used for everything from phase identification to the measuring of stress/stain levels in crystalline materials. In the former, it works by analyzing the material’s crystal lattice and then calculating its unit cell dimensions. The material is ground into powder for the determination of bulk composition, and its properties are analyzed through X-ray technology and imaging software.

Components

-Ray Diffraction

-Ray Diffraction


Three important materials make up the X-ray diffractometer, the machine behind XRD:

  • X-ray tube
  • X-ray detector
  • Sample holder

When using the diffractometer, the crystalline material is secured in the sample holder before being rapidly blitzed with X-rays. A diffraction pattern is then formed by the reflections of the crystal, and all the images of its rotation are combined into a single composite for Fourier transform. Eventually, scientists have a 3D model that can help them determine the shape, structure and composition of the crystal.

Uses

Amorphous Compound

Amorphous Compound


While XRD is first and foremost a technique for identifying unknown crystalline materials, it can also be used with a variety of solids, minerals and inorganic compounds for the purposes of designation and classification. XRD can even tell you how much of a compound is amorphous!

Here are just a few of the tests you might see in a lab with diffractometers:

  • Analysis of material purity
  • Determination of its chemical formula and structure
  • Determination of any clays or other fine-grained minerals within the crystal
  • Identification and quantification of crystalline material in a given sample
  • Measurements of textures/orientation
  • Determination of cell dimensions

As you can see, XRD has many uses across multiple disciples, including geology, biology, chemistry, environmental science and engineering. Learn more about XRD and its value by clicking here.

Overview

Whether you’re a devoted student of crystallography or just a fan of playing with lasers, X-ray diffraction is one of the world’s best methods for determining crystalline values and classifications. It can be used for both qualitative and quantitative evaluation, and its utility will extend as far as you’re willing to take it. You can even use XRD for Small Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS)! Now that’s a useful tool.

Related Posts:

Source:

  1. Unavailable, please contact us for more information.
New HighTed-EDGE

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New HighTed-EDGE