PXRD sample submission
Click here to print a Submission Form (Adobe PDF format).
Powder or polycrystalline X-ray diffraction (PXRD) encompasses many applications that can be useful to the research and study of natural and new materials. While PXRD is most commonly used for phase identification and crystallographic investigations, there are a variety of PXRD methods and techniques available that can be useful to researchers across many different fields.
With several diffractometers available, this facility can accommodate different configurations required for use with specific methods. Please note that there are many techniques available but some require high quality samples and so not every technique can be applied to every sample.
Due to the complexity of managing different available configurations with a variety of measurement protocols and varying sample types, clients should contact the lab to discuss the best path forward. Client expertise is recommended or required in some cases.
A note to students
As a student, you have an opportunity to learn about a technique that is critical to revealing structural properties in materials. We have a variety of software programs available for you to use to process data and to develop your skills in crystallography. You should have a basic understanding of the following concepts before undertaking PXRD:
- the Bragg equation and diffraction
- unit cell and crystal systems
- crystalline vs amorphous
- crystallographic information file (CIF)
A number of links to resources with educational materials for XRD are shown on the links page.
Powder Diffraction (with 0D or 1D detectors)
We offer services that use conventional powder diffraction methods. These methods usually require the sample to be in powder form, randomly oriented, ideally 1-5 microns in size, and in sufficient quantity for best results. For samples that are not powders, cannot be made into a powder, or are limited, we may still be able to obtain valuable information about the material – we have done phase identification on some very challenging samples. Please contact us for more details.
Traditionally, powder diffractometers have used point (0D) or linear (1D) detectors. Additionally, an area (2D) detector can be a useful tool to help reveal structural aspects of a material. We have 2D detectors on the single crystal instruments as well as on the Empyrean 3 multi-purpose diffractometer.
- Examples of sample types that can be used:
- Films or plastics for diffraction in transmission mode
- Capillaries for liquid crystals, suspensions, or air-sensitive samples
- Micro samples for micro-diffraction
- Precious samples for non-destructive testing
- Solid materials
- Powder, polymer, and textured samples for checking graininess or orientation
If you have questions about our PXRD services please contact Anita Lam at 604-822-4865.