Tables for
Volume H
Powder diffraction
Edited by C. J. Gilmore, J. A. Kaduk and H. Schenk

International Tables for Crystallography (2018). Vol. H, ch. 2.1, p. 26

Section 2.1.1. Introduction

A. Kerna*

aBruker AXS, Östliche Rheinbrückenstrasse 49, Karlsruhe 76187, Germany
Correspondence e-mail:

2.1.1. Introduction

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X-ray scattering techniques are among the most essential means of characterizing materials, as they are the most direct analytical methods for providing structural information for a material. In particular, X-ray powder diffraction has become one of the most important techniques in materials science, since many materials are first formed or are only available or used as powders or other polycrystalline forms.

The ever-increasing need for materials characterization, from basic research to industrial quality control, has led to a multitude of evolutionary and revolutionary instrument and application developments. In the past two decades, the capabilities and thus the range of application of laboratory X-ray diffractometers have increased exponentially.

The present chapter covers the full range of commonly used instrumentation for home-laboratory X-ray scattering analyses as detailed in Section 2.1.2[link], with the focus on powder diffraction. The scope is limited to recent and commercial designs, available off-the-shelf from the major manufacturers. Neither technologically obsolete nor niche instrumentation will be discussed. A short description of the history of X-ray instrumentation is given in Section 2.1.3[link], illustrating the significant technological advances made since 1985. Sections 2.1.4[link][link][link] to 2.1.7[link] describe the components of the diverse range of currently available home-laboratory X-ray powder diffractometers. The most important concepts are discussed here; for technological details the reader is referred to the original literature or to textbooks.

In order to maintain neutrality as well as timeliness, the use of brand names and photos of real equipment has been avoided.

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