X-ray diffraction (XRD) is a rapid analytical technique most widely used for the identification of unknown crystalline materials (e.g. minerals, inorganic compounds). Determination of unknown solids is critical to studies in geology, environmental science, material science, engineering and biology.


Other applications include:

characterization of crystalline materials

identification of fine-grained minerals such as clays and mixed layer clays that are difficult to determine optically

determination of unit cell dimensions

measurement of sample purity


With specialized techniques, XRD can be used to:

determine crystal structures using Rietveld refinement

determine of modal amounts of minerals (quantitative analysis)

characterize thin films samples

make textural measurements, such as the orientation of grains, in a polycrystalline sample.




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