X-ray Diffraction Analysis Laboratory

About the Laboratory

X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) is a non-destructive analytical technique used to obtain information about the structures/phases of crystalline materials. It has been widely applied in chemistry, nanomaterial, geology, pharmaceutical industry, glass industry, microelectronics industry, and many other fields. Depending on sample forms, there are two types of diffractometers: single crystal XRD and powder XRD. Single crystal XRD determines the molecular structure at atomic level and therefore provides information such as bond lengths, bond angles, coordination, disorder, etc. Powder XRD is primarily used to identify phases of solid state materials and has found its applications in studying, for examples: ​

  • Crystallinity
  • Polymorphs
  • Phase transitions
  • Sample purity
  • Lattice parameters
  • Crystal size and strain

Laboratory Contact


Phone Number:
(306) 966-1706

Laboratory Managers:
Jianfeng (Peter) Zhu

Instruments In Lab

The Apex2 Kappa CCD 4-Circle Kappa FR540C diffractometer (Brüker AXS) is equipped with an Apex2 CCD based detector cooled to -60°C using graphite monochromated Mo-K radiation { 17.44 keV; (Mo-K): 0.71073 Å} from a sealed fine-focus ceramic tube X-ray tube and a FR591 HV generator. The system uses a horizontal-oriented Kappa 4 circle goniometer with 2-theta, omega and phi drives and a motorized DX track for setting the detector distance. With the kappa angle, the crystal can be oriented at chi from 0° to 92°. A 0.35 mm fine focused collimator is used. Two computers are used in the system. One (Bruker54) is used to run the diffractometer and collect data and is a slave to the primary computer (Bruker55) which contains the Apex2 software for processing data.
The Rigaku Ultima IV X-Ray diffractometer is a state-of-art multipurpose X-Ray diffraction (Cu source, wavelength 1.54056Å) system. The Cross Beam Optics (CBO) technology allows instant switch between para-focusing and parallel beam geometry. Coupling CBO with the automatic alignment capability makes Ultima IV a fast and flexible XRD system for varieties of applications including micro-crystalline diffraction, thin-film diffraction, and small angle scattering. The Ultima IV also features a wide 2θ scan range (-3 – 162°) and a powerful 1D D/teX Ultra detector. A collection of attachments and their applications are listed below:
  • Standard Attachment: conventional powder XRD.
  • Automatic Sample Changer (ASC-10): 10-position auto-sampler.
  • Multipurpose Attachment (MPU-4): Grazing Incidence, Pole Figure, Residual Stress, and Reflectivity measurements.
  • Small Angle Attachment (SAXS): Small Angle X-ray Scattering measurement.
  • Capillary Rotation Attachment: capillary size up to 2mm
  • Micro Area Attachment: irradiation size 1.0 mm (width) x 1.8 mm (height).
  • High Temperature Attachment: temperature from RT to 1500 °C, under air or vacuum.