International
Tables for
Crystallography
Volume G
Definition and exchange of crystallographic data
Edited by S. R. Hall and B. McMahon

International Tables for Crystallography (2006). Vol. G, ch. 3.3, pp. 129-130

Section 3.3.10.2. Phase identification and indexing

B. H. Tobya*

aNIST Center for Neutron Research, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899-8562, USA
Correspondence e-mail: brian.toby@nist.gov

3.3.10.2. Phase identification and indexing

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For phase identification, a CIF will include unprocessed measurements, as described in Section 3.3.8[link]. Sample characterization information, for example chemical analysis information, can often aid phase determination. Characterization information is described in Section 3.3.4.1[link]. Similarly, sample preparation information can also be quite valuable (see Section 3.3.4.1[link]). Since preferred orientation or other artifacts of the measurement can make phase identification more difficult, it is a good idea to include specimen preparation and mounting information, as described in Section 3.3.4.2[link].

Peaks will be located and documented in the peak table, as discussed in Section 3.3.5.3[link]. In this case, it can be very helpful to specify _pd_peak_wavelength_id for peaks that are clearly a Kα2 component. Similarly, recording a peak width can also be helpful for some autoindexing programs.

To identify peaks by phase in the case where at least one phase in a material is known but other peaks remain unidentified requires the use of a reflection table and a phase table, as shown in Example 3.3.10.1[link]. This example shows a diffraction pattern with eight peaks, of which five have been identified as arising from a phase where the unit cell has not yet been determined. The peaks labelled B1, B2 and B3 are referenced in the peak table, but are not defined in the reflection loop. This implies that they arise from an unknown phase or phases. The remaining peaks A1 to A5 are referenced in the peak table. Note that the reflection table must include the _refln_index_* data items, even though no reflection indices are assigned. This is because CIF rules require that the _refln_index_* data items be present in this loop, as noted in the pdCIF dictionary definitions for _pd_refln_peak_id and _pd_refln_phase_id. The place holder ? is used to indicate that the reflection indices are not yet known.

Example 3.3.10.1. Phase identification using a reflection table and a phase table.

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