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. 2.5, p. 118

Section The diffraction pattern measured by an area detector

B. B. Hea*

aBruker AXS Inc., 5465 E. Cheryl Parkway, Madison, WI 53711, USA
Correspondence e-mail: The diffraction pattern measured by an area detector

| top | pdf |

The diffracted X-rays from a polycrystalline or powder sample form a series of cones in three-dimensional space, since large numbers of crystals oriented randomly in the space are covered by the incident X-ray beam. Each diffraction cone corresponds to the diffraction from the same family of crystal planes in all the participating grains. The apex angles of cones are given by Bragg's law for the corresponding crystal interplanar d-spacing. A conventional X-ray powder-diffraction pattern is collected by scanning a point or linear detector along the 2θ angle. The diffraction pattern is displayed as scattering intensity versus 2θ angle (Klug & Alexander, 1974[link]; Cullity, 1978[link]; Warren, 1990[link]; Jenkins & Snyder, 1996[link]; Pecharsky & Zavalij, 2003[link]). In recent years, use of two-dimensional (2D) detectors for powder diffraction has dramatically increased in academic and industrial research (Sulyanov et al., 1994[link]; Rudolf & Landes, 1994[link]; He, 2003[link], 2009[link]). When a 2D detector is used for X-ray powder diffraction, the diffraction cones are intercepted by the area detector and the X-ray intensity distribution on the sensing area is converted to an image-like diffraction pattern, also referred to as a frame. Since the diffraction pattern collected with a 2D detector is typically given as an intensity distribution over a two-dimensional region, so X-ray diffraction with a 2D detector is also referred to as two-dimensional X-ray diffraction (2D-XRD) or 2D powder diffraction. A 2D diffraction pattern contains far more information than a conventional diffraction pattern, and therefore demands a special data-collection strategy and data-evaluation algorithms. This chapter covers the basic concepts and recent progress in 2D-XRD theory and technologies, including geometry conventions, X-ray source and optics, 2D detectors, diffraction-data interpretation, and various applications, such as phase identification and texture, stress, crystallinity and crystallite-size analysis. The concepts and algorithms of this chapter apply to both laboratory and synchrotron diffractometers equipped with 2D detectors.


Cullity, B. D. (1978). Elements of X-ray Diffraction, 2nd ed. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
He, B. B. (2003). Introduction to two-dimensional X-ray diffraction. Powder Diffr. 18, 71–85.Google Scholar
He, B. B. (2009). Two-dimensional X-ray Diffraction. New York: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
Jenkins, R. & Snyder, R. L. (1996). Introduction to X-ray Powder Diffractometry. New York: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
Klug, H. P. & Alexander, L. E. (1974). X-ray Diffraction Procedures for Polycrystalline and Amorphous Materials. New York: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
Pecharsky, V. K. & Zavalij, P. Y. (2003). Fundamentals of Powder Diffraction and Structure Characterization of Materials. Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
Rudolf, P. R. & Landes, B. G. (1994). Two-dimensional X-ray diffraction and scattering of microcrystalline and polymeric materials. Spectroscopy, 9(6), 22–33.Google Scholar
Sulyanov, S. N., Popov, A. N. & Kheiker, D. M. (1994). Using a two-dimensional detector for X-ray powder diffractometry. J. Appl. Cryst. 27, 934–942.Google Scholar
Warren, B. E. (1990). X-ray Diffraction. New York: Dover Publications.Google Scholar

to end of page
to top of page