Diffraction and the X-Ray Powder Diffractometer

  • Brent Fultz
  • James M. Howe


Materials are made of atoms. Knowledge of how atoms are arranged into crystal structures and microstructures is the foundation on which we build our understanding of the synthesis, structure and properties of materials. There are many ways for measuring chemical compositions of materials, and methods based on inner-shell electron spectroscopies are covered in this book. The larger emphasis of the book is on measuring spatial arragements of atoms in the range from 10-8 to 10-4 cm, bridging from the unit cell of the crystal to the microstructure of the material. For measurements over this broad spatial scale there are many different experimental techniques, but most of them involve diffraction. To date, most of our knowledge about the spatial arrangements of atoms in materials has been gained from diffraction experiments. In a diffraction experiment, an incident wave is directed into a material and a detector is typically moved about to record the directions and intensities of the outgoing diffracted waves.


Interplanar Spacing Solid State Detector Standard Reference Material Anode Wire Detective Quantum Efficiency 
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Further Reading

  1. Leonid V. Azároff: Elements of X-Ray Crystallography, (McGraw-Hill, New York 1968), reprinted by TechBooks, Fairfax, VA.Google Scholar
  2. Bernard D. Cullity: Elements of X-Ray Diffraction, (Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA 1978).Google Scholar
  3. International Tables for X-ray Crystallography, (Kynock Press, Birmingham, England, 1952-).Google Scholar
  4. Harold P. Klug and Leroy E. Alexander: X-Ray Diffraction Procedures, (Wiley-Interscience, New York 1974).Google Scholar
  5. L. H. Schwartz and J. B. Cohen: Diffraction from Materials, (Springer-Verlag, Berlin 1987).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. B. E. Warren: X-Ray Diffraction (Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA 1969).Google Scholar
  7. Crystal structure determination by single crystal x-ray diffraction methods is a large topic, and much of it is beyond the scope of the present book. This subject is covered in books by M. F. C. Ladd and R. A. Palmer: Structure Determination by X-ray Crystallography (Plenum Press, New York, NY 1993)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. George H. Stout and Lyle H. Jensen: X-ray Structure Determination: A Practical Guide (Wiley-Interscience, New York, NY 1989).Google Scholar

References and Figures

  1. 1.1
    International Centre for Diffraction Data, 12 Campus Boulevard Newtown Square, PA 19073–3273 USA.
  2. 1.2
    J. P. Quintana and J. B. Cohen: ‘Local Atomic Structure in Hg0.80Cd0.20Te and Hg0.725Cd0.275Te’, In: Diffusion in Ordered Alloys, ed. by B. Fultz, R. W. Cahn, D. Gupta (TMS, Warrendale, PA 1993).Google Scholar
  3. 1.3
    H. G. J. Moseley: Philos. Mag. 27, 713 (1914).Google Scholar
  4. 1.4
    F. Richtmyer and E. Kennard: Introduction to Modern Physics (McGraw-Hill, New York 1947).Google Scholar
  5. 1.5
    A partial list of web sites for synchrotron sources includes (prefixed with http://):,,,,,,,,, ssrc.inp.nsk.suGoogle Scholar
  6. 1.6
    Leonid V. Azároff: Elements of X-Ray Crystallography, McGraw-Hill, New York (1968). Figure reprinted with the courtesy of TechBooks, Fairfax, VA.Google Scholar
  7. 1.7
    National Institute of Standards and Technology, Standard Reference Materials Program, Bldg. 202, Rm 204, Gaithersburg, MD 20899.
  8. 1.8
    J. Nelson and D. Riley: Proc. Phys. Soc. (London) 57, 160 (1945).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 1.9
    Harold P. Klug and Leroy E. Alexander: X-Ray Diffraction Procedures, Wiley-Interscience, New York (1974). Figure reprinted with the courtesy of John Wiley-Interscience.Google Scholar
  10. 1.10
    S. J. L. Billinge and M. F. Thorpe, Eds.: Local Structure From Diffraction (Plenum Press, New York 1998).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brent Fultz
    • 1
  • James M. Howe
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Engineering and Applied ScienceCalifornia Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Materials Science and EngineeringUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA

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