X-ray Powder Diffraction (XRPD) uses X-rays to investigate and quantify the crystalline nature of materials. It is sensitive to the type of and relative position of atoms in a material as well as the length scale over which the crystalline order persists by probing length scales from approximately sub angstroms to a few nm and is sensitive to ordering over tens of nanometres. It can be used to: measure the crystalline content of materials; identify the crystalline phases present - including the quantification of mixtures in favourable samples; determine the lattice parameters of crystal phases and the length scales over which they persist (domain sizes).

The samples for analysis are typically in the form of finely divided powders, but powder diffraction can also be obtained from surfaces, provided they are relatively flat,  not too rough and the crystallites are isotopically averaged on the surface.  The materials can be of a vast array of types, including inorganic, organic, polymers, metals or composites and the potential applications cover almost all research fields, e.g. metallurgy, pharmaceuticals, earth sciences, polymers and composites, microelectronics and nanotechnology. XRPD can also be applied to study the pseudo crystalline structure of mesoporous materials and colloidal crystals provided that the length scales are in the correct size regime.

The Bruker D8 Advance MKII XRD is a versatile instrument and can measure in either divergent (Bragg-Brentano) or parallel-beam geometries.  It has a 90 position magazine sample changer for high-throughput analysis, an energy discriminating 2D array detector to minimise fluorescent backgrounds (e.g. in Fe or Mn rich samples) and an automated knife edge to allow simultaneous measurements at low and high angles. The instrument carries out the routine XRPD experiments and is run as in a service mode. That is, appropriately prepared samples are delivered by the clients after consultation with the instrument operator and the measurements are collected on behalf of the clients. Computers software and training are also available to clients to process data after its collection.

Specialised XRPD experiments including those which need to be collected in capillaries in transmission geometery; insitu experiments requiring heating/cooling; or time resolved experiments are typically carried out on the Rigaku SmartLab XRD.

Location: Chemistry Building

Contact: A/Prof Kevin Jack on k.jack@uq.edu.au

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