UCL Earth Sciences


X-Ray Diffraction Laboratory

Location: B22 (was OB08)
Laboratory Manager: Prof Ian Wood

The X-Ray Diffraction Laboratory contains instruments for both powder diffraction and general single-crystal experiments.

Photographs of Left) the cold stage and, Right)high-temperature furnace

Research Equipment Includes:

A new PANalytical, X'pert PRO MPD, high resolution powder diffractometer, with environmental stages allowing operation from room temperature to 1500 C. The diffractometer is equipped with an Co anode X-ray tube and an incident beam Ge monochromator, which produces a single CoK-alpha 1 line, leading to very sharp diffraction maxima (peaks with full width at half-height as small as 0.06 degrees in 2-theta have been recorded). The X'celerator detector fitted to the the instrument allows data collection at rates about 100 times faster than with a conventional single-point counter. As well as conventional reflection-geometry diffractometry, the instrument is also configurable with a parallel incident beam for use with capillary samples or a 100 micron collimation system for micro-diffraction. The software available includes search-match access to the ICDD database for phase identification.

In addition to our new powder diffractometer we have facilities in this laboratory for investigating both single crystals and powders by photographic methods, using Weissenberg, precession, Debye-Scheerer and Guinier cameras; we also have apparatus for accurately orienting large crystals before they are cut using back-reflection Laue photographs. We no longer use film with these cameras but instead record the data on phosphor imaging plates. We have very recently taken delivery of a Storm 820 image-plate reader, which we expect will greatly enhance our capabilities in this area.