Tables for
Volume C
Mathematical, physical and chemical tables
Edited by E. Prince

International Tables for Crystallography (2006). Vol. C, ch. 8.6, p. 711

Section Background

A. Albinatia and B. T. M. Willisb

aIstituto Chimica Farmaceutica, Università di Milano, Viale Abruzzi 42, Milano 20131, Italy, and bChemical Crystallography Laboratory, University of Oxford, 9 Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PD, England Background

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The background may be determined by measuring regions of the pattern that are free from Bragg peaks. This procedure assumes that the background varies smoothly with sinθ /λ, whereas this is not the case in the presence of disorder or thermal diffuse scattering (TDS), which rises to a maximum at the Bragg positions. An alternative approach is to include a background function in the refinement model (Richardson, 1993[link]). If the background is not accounted for satisfactorily, the temperature factors may be incorrect or even negative. The various procedures for estimating the background for X-ray, synchrotron, constant-wavelength and TOF neutron powder patterns are reviewed by McCusker et al. (1999[link]).

In neutron diffraction, the main contribution to the background from hydrogen-containing samples is due to incoherent scattering. Deuterating the sample is essential in order to substantially reduce this background.


McCusker, L. B., Von Dreele, R. B., Cox, D. E., Louer, D. & Scardi, P. (1999). Rietveld refinement guidelines. J. Appl. Cryst. 32, 36–50.
Richardson, J. W. (1993). Background modelling in Rietveld analysis. The Rietveld method. IUCr Monographs on Crystallography, No. 5, edited by R. A. Young, pp. 102–110. Oxford University Press.

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