What is X-Ray Diffraction (XRD)?

X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) is an analytical technique that is used to determine the properties of an ordered or crystalline material. This information is obtained by exposing a sample to X-rays. As the Xrays pass through a sample they are diffracted by atoms that are in the path of the X-rays. This changes the angle of the X-ray beam from its original path to the angle of diffraction. In instances where the interference is constructive, a more intense signal can be detected at a specific angle.

What information can X-Ray Diffraction Provide?

Using Bragg’s law, the information provided by an XRD analysis can be used to determine properties such as the composition of a crystalline material, the crystal structure, the crystal orientation, crystallite size, and approximations on the percent crystallinity of a sample. This can be particularity useful for identifying different phases of crystalline materials in pharmaceuticals. Quantitative analysis can also be performed using XRD to determine the percentage of crystalline material, whether it be different phases of one material or a mixture of several crystalline materials. Reference diffraction patterns of materials from the The International Centre for Diffraction Data (ICDD) can be used to confirm the qualitatively identity of a material.

What Materials can be analyzed using X-Ray Diffraction?

A variety of materials can be analyzed including pharmaceuticals, polymers, minerals, inorganic materials, metals, cementitious materials (cement), ash or calcined materials, and more.

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