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, pp. 118-119

Section Advantages of two-dimensional X-ray diffraction

B. B. Hea*

aBruker AXS Inc., 5465 E. Cheryl Parkway, Madison, WI 53711, USA
Correspondence e-mail: Advantages of two-dimensional X-ray diffraction

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A 2D diffraction frame contains far more information than a diffraction pattern measured using a conventional diffraction system with a point detector or a linear position-sensitive detector. In addition to the significantly higher data-collection speed, the intensity and 2θ variation along the diffraction rings can reveal abundant structural information typically not available from a conventional diffraction pattern. Fig. 2.5.2[link] shows a 2D pattern collected from a battery component containing multiple layers of different phases. Some diffraction rings have strong intensity variation due to preferred orientation, and the spotty diffraction rings are from a phase that contains large crystal grains. It is apparent that different diffraction-ring patterns are from different phases. 2D-XRD analyses commonly performed on polycrystalline materials include phase identification, quantitative phase analysis, preferred-orientation quantification and characterization of residual stresses.

[Figure 2.5.2]

Figure 2.5.2 | top | pdf |

Diffraction pattern from a battery component containing multiple layers.

Phase identification (phase ID) can be done by integration in a selected 2θ range along the diffraction rings (Hammersley et al., 1996[link]; Rodriguez-Navarro, 2006[link]). The integrated data give better intensity and statistics for phase ID and quantitative analysis, especially for those samples with texture or large grain sizes, or where the sample is small. Then the integrated diffraction profiles can be analysed with existing algorithms and methods: profile fitting with conventional peak shapes and fundamental parameters, quantification of phases, and lattice-parameter indexing and refinement. The results can be used to search and match to entries in a powder-diffraction database, typically the Powder Diffraction File.

Texture measurement with 2D-XRD is extremely fast compared to measurement using a point or linear detector. The area detector collects texture data and background values simultaneously for multiple poles and multiple directions. Owing to the high measurement speed, pole figures can be measured at very fine steps, allowing detection of very sharp textures (Smith & Ortega, 1993[link]; Bunge & Klein, 1996[link]; He, 2009[link]).

Stress measurement with 2D-XRD is based on a direct relationship between the stress tensor and distortion of the diffraction cones. Since the whole or a part of the diffraction ring is used for stress calculation, 2D-XRD can measure stress with high sensitivity, high speed and high accuracy (He & Smith, 1997[link]; He, 2000[link]). It is highly suitable for samples containing large crystals and textures. Simultaneous measurement of stress and texture is also possible, since 2D data contain both stress and texture information.

Concentrations of crystalline phases can be measured faster and more accurately with data analysis over 2D frames, especially for samples with an anisotropic distribution of crystallite orientations and/or amorphous content. The amorphous region can be defined by the user to consist of regions with no Bragg peaks, or the amorphous region can be defined with the crystalline region included when the crystalline region and the amorphous region overlap.

Microdiffraction data are collected with speed and accuracy. Collection of X-ray diffraction data from small sample amounts or small sample areas has always been a slow process because of limited beam intensity. The 2D detector captures whole or a large portion of the diffraction rings, so spotty, textured or weak diffraction data can be integrated over the selected diffraction rings (Winter & Squires, 1995[link]; Bergese et al., 2001[link]; Tissot, 2003[link]; Bhuvanesh & Reibenspies, 2003[link]; He, 2004[link]). The point beam used for microdiffraction allows diffraction mapping with fine space resolution, even on a curved surface (Allahkarami & Hanan, 2011[link]).

Data can be collected from thin-film samples containing a mixture of single-crystal and polycrystalline layers with random orientation distributions, and highly textured layers, with all the features appearing simultaneously in diffraction frames (Dickerson et al., 2002[link]; He, 2006[link]). The pole figures from different layers and the substrate can be overlapped to reveal the orientation relationships. The use of a 2D detector can dramatically speed up the data collection for reciprocal-space mapping on an in-plane reciprocal-lattice point (Schmidbauer et al., 2008[link]).

Because of the penetrating power of the X-ray beam, fast nondestructive data collection and the abundant information about atomic structure, two-dimensional X-ray diffraction can be used to screen a library of materials with high speed and high accuracy. Two-dimensional X-ray diffraction systems dedicated for combinatorial screening are widely used in the pharmaceutical industry for drug discovery and process analysis (Klein et al., 1998[link]; He et al., 2001[link]).

Forensic science and archaeology have benefited from using two-dimensional X-ray diffraction for identifying materials and structures from small specimens (Kugler, 2003[link]; Bontempi et al., 2008[link]). It is nondestructive and does not require special sample treatment, so the original evidence or sample can be preserved. Two-dimensional diffraction patterns contain abundant information and are easy to observe and explain in the courtroom.


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