X-Ray Diffraction (XRD Analysis)

Powder XRD provides detailed information on the crystallographic structure and physical properties of materials and thin films.

The sample is irradiated with a beam of monochromatic x-rays over a variable incident angle range. Interaction with atoms in the sample results in diffracted x-rays when the Bragg equation is satisfied. Resulting spectra are characteristic of chemical composition and phase. The technique uniquely provides phase identification (e.g. graphite or diamond), along with phase quantification, % crystallinity, crystallite size and unit cell size. For layered materials, Grazing Incidence XRD (GIXRD) allows compositional depth profiling of phases within the structure.

  • Non-destructive analysis with identification of phase e.g. quartz/cristobalite/tridymite for silica
  • Phase quantification, % crystallinity and measurement of crystallite and unit cell size
  • Definition of bulk crystal structure including defects and solid solution, using Rietveld Structure Refinement
  • Depth profiling of compositional and phase changes within layered materials by Grazing Incidence XRD
  • Measurement of layer thickness on the nm scale for highly polished materials using X-Ray Reflectivity (XRR)
  • Small area analysis and phase mapping by Micro X-Ray Diffraction (µXRD).

Typical Applications

  • Phase composition determination
  • Characterisation of doped cell structures for electroceramics
  • Measurement of hard coating composition and structure e.g. carbides, nitrides on machine tools
  • Characterisation of hydroxy-apatite coatings on medical implant materials
  • In-depth analysis of silicon wafers, ITO coated glasses and solar cells.

Typical Industries using XRD

  • Aerospace
  • Automotive
  • Materials
  • Minerals
  • Glass, Ceramics and Refractories
  • Healthcare
  • Medical Devices
  • Semiconductors
  • Electronics.

Associated Test Methods

Further Information on XRD Techniques

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