A wide range of X-ray diffraction techniques is available within the facility for the investigation of polycrystalline materials, single crystal and thin films. Samples may be examined in either bulk or powdered form. The facility is currently equipped with seven diffractometers - two PANalytical Empyrean instruments, two PANalytical MRDs and a PANalytical MPD.

There are also two Bruker D2 desk-top instruments for rapid, routine data collection. As well as conventional configurations for techniques such as phase identification and texture analysis, some of these instruments are specifically configured for more specialised investigations, including:

Thin film measurements

Our multi-configuration, Empyrean diffractometer is equipped with a 2D PIXcel® detector and a second beam path with a triple-axis analyser, to enable high-resolution measurements on thin films, particularly epitaxial layers.

Small and wide-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS/WAXS)

SAXS can yield dimensional and structural information on the nanoscale, whereas complementary information regarding phases and crystallite size can be obtained from WAXS. Our SAXS/WAXS capability is provided by a “ScatterX 78®” attachment operating under low vacuum conditions on a state of the art, PANalytical Empyrean diffractometer. It can be used for the analysis of colloidal dispersions, nano-powders and fibres. The instrument also has the option of a 2D detector for 2D SAXS experiments.

High temperature X-ray diffraction

XRD measurements can be performed at elevated temperatures up to 1000°C using an Anton Parr, environmental heating chamber. This allows the investigation of the thermal behaviour of lattice parameters, crystallisation studies, and the detection and characterisation of high-temperature phases.

Mr Richard Sweeney - X-RAY Diffraction

Mr Richard Sweeney shares more about our X-RAY Diffraction and Thermal Analysis facilities. This video was filmed as part of the LCN Seminar Series. 

X-Ray Diffraction help and support

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  • Mr Richard Sweeney

    Mr Richard Sweeney, Department of Materials, Imperial College London

    Personal details

    Mr Richard Sweeney Senior Research Officer, XRD,Thermal Analysis

    +44 (0)20 7594 6732

    Support with

    General enquiries, instrument specifications


    Department of Materials
    Royal School of Mines
    Lower Ground Floor, LG61