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X-Ray Diffraction and Scattering Facility

The X-Ray Diffraction and Scattering Facility (XRDSF) was established in 2002, and currently comprises two conventional X-ray diffractometers, an  in situ X-ray diffractometer, a small-angle X-ray scattering instrument, and associated sample preparation facilities.

The facilities are available for use by researchers and commercial companies alike. Training in analysis techniques can also be provided, as well as reporting and consultancy

Techniques and Applications

  • Crystalline phase identification and quantification
  • Amorphous material determination
  • Crystallite size analysis
  • Clay determination
  • Retained austenite
  • Respirable silica
  • Nanoparticle size distribution
  • Pore size analysis
  • Powder/solid and solution sample preparation available

Small Angle X-Ray Scattering Instrument

The XRDSF houses a Bruker NANOSTAR SAXS instrument comprising an Excillum MetalJet high-intensity X-ray source, in-vacuum specimen chamber, and a two-dimensional photon counting detector, capable of covering a q-range of 0.008 – 1.25 Å-1. The SAXS instrument is also capable of heating samples from room temperature up to 300 °C. The instrument was purchased in 2015 through a LIEF application lead by Prof. Craig Buckley.

D8 Advance


The Bruker D8A is a Bragg-Brentano geometry X-ray Diffractometer (XRD) with a copper X-ray source and an automated 45 position sample changer. It features a LynxEye position sensitive detector that is 200 times faster than a conventional scintillator detector, allowing for the collection of superior data in a short time-frame. This instrument is used for the majority of X-ray diffraction measurements.

D8 Discover


The Bruker D8D is a Bragg-Brentano geometry X-ray Diffractometer (XRD) with a cobalt X-ray source and automated 10 position sample changer. The cobalt source allows this instrument to accurately analyse high iron content samples such as iron ores.


  • Investigation of pore structure in mesoporous materials (metal alloys, silicas, etc.)
  • Investigation of gels and phase transitions
  • Environmental science
  • Size determination of metal nanoparticles suspended in solution
  • Protein solution size and shape analysis
  • Identification of crystalline phases
  • Determination of crystallite size
  • Materials science
  • Biomedial science