In materials research, the scientist has many analytical questions related to the crystalline constitution of material samples. X-ray diffraction is the only laboratory technique that reveals structural information, such as chemical composition, crystal structure, crystallite size, strain, preferred orientation and layer thickness. Materials researchers therefore use X-ray diffraction to analyze a wide range of materials, from powders and thin films to nanomaterials and solid objects.
Science and industry
Many researchers, in industrial as well as in scientific laboratories, rely on X-ray diffraction as a tool to develop new materials or to improve production efficiency. Innovations in X-ray diffraction closely follow the research on new materials, such as in semiconductor technologies or pharmaceutical investigations. Industrial research is directed towards ever-increasing speed and efficiency of production processes. Fully automated X-ray diffraction analysis in mining and building materials production sites results in more cost-effective solutions for production control.
Solutions for analytical questions
X-ray diffraction analysis meets many of the analytical needs of a materials scientist. In powders, chemical phases are identified qualitatively as well as quantitatively. High-resolution X-ray diffraction reveals the layer parameters such as composition, thickness, roughness and density in semiconductor thin films. Small-angle X-ray scattering and pair distribution function (PDF) analysis help to analyze the structural properties of nanomaterials. Stresses and preferred orientation can be determined in a wide range of solid objects and engineered components.
If you would like to learn more about XRD click here to download the booklet ‘XRD for the analyst, getting acquainted with the principles' by Martin Ermrich and Detlef Opper.
Browse the sections below to find out how X-ray diffraction can support you in materials research.