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X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) is a rapid analytical technique primarily used for phase identification of a crystalline material and can provide information on unit cell dimensions. It is designed for the structural characterization of the full range of materials from powders, amorphous and polycrystalline materials to epitaxial multi-layered thin films at ambient and non-ambient conditions.
X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD) is a technique used in materials science to determine the crystallographic structure of a material. XRD works by irradiating a material with incident X-rays and then measuring the intensities and scattering angles of the X-rays that leave the material. A primary use of XRD analysis is the identification of materials based on their diffraction pattern. As well as phase identification, XRD also yields information on how the actual structure deviates from the ideal one, owing to internal stresses and defects. Crystals are regular arrays of atoms, whilst X-rays can be considered as waves of electromagnetic radiation. Crystal atoms scatter incident X-rays, primarily through interaction with the atoms’ electrons. This phenomenon is known as elastic scattering; the electron is known as the scatterer. A regular array of scatterers produces a regular array of spherical waves. In the majority of directions, these waves cancel each other out through destructive interference, however, they add constructively in a few specific directions, as determined by Bragg’s law: