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X-Ray Diffraction (XRD)

X-Ray Diffraction (XRD Analysis) Testing Technique

Powder XRD provides detailed information on the crystallographic structure and physical properties of materials and thin films.

The sample is irradiated with a beam of monochromatic x-rays over a variable incident angle range.  Interaction with atoms in the sample results in diffracted x-rays when the Bragg equation is satisfied.  Resulting spectra are characteristic of chemical composition and phase.  The technique uniquely provides phase identification (e.g. graphite or diamond), along with phase quantification, % crystallinity, crystallite size and unit cell size.  For layered materials, Grazing Incidence XRD (GIXRD) allows compositional depth profiling of phases within the structure.

  • Non-destructive analysis with identification of phase e.g. quartz / cristobalite / tridymite for silica
  • Phase quantification, % crystallinity and measurement of crystallite and unit cell size
  • Definition of bulk crystal structure including defects and solid solution, using Rietveld Structure Refinement
  • Depth profiling of compositional and phase changes within layered materials by Grazing Incidence XRD
  • Measurement of layer thickness on the nm scale for highly polished materials using X-Ray Reflectivity (XRR)
  • Small area analysis and phase mapping by Micro X-Ray Diffraction (µXRD).

Typical Applications

  • Phase composition determination
  • Characterization of doped cell structures for electroceramics
  • Measurement of hard coating composition and structure e.g. carbides, nitrides on machine tools
  • Characterization of hydroxyapatite coatings on medical implant materials
  • In-depth analysis of silicon wafers, ITO coated glasses and solar cells.

Typical Industries using XRD

  • Aerospace
  • Automotive
  • Materials
  • Minerals
  • Glass, Ceramics and Refractories
  • Healthcare
  • Medical Devices
  • Semiconductors
  • Electronics.

Associated Test Methods

Further Information on XRD Techniques



XRD - At a Glance

  • Information: Chemical composition, crystalline phase, physical properties
  • Sample Size: Up to 150mm diameter and 79mm depth
  • Detection Limits: ~0.5 atomic %
  • Area Analysed: From 50mm x 50mm to ~300µm x 300µm
  • Depth Resolution: <10 nm
  • Mapping capability: In an array, with spot sizes >300µm
  • Data Output: Diffraction plots, phase tables and depth profiles


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