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Chemistry LibreTexts

Diffraction Scattering Techniques

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  • When an X-ray is shined on a crystal, it diffracts in a pattern characteristic of the structure.

    • Bragg's Law
      The structures of crystals and molecules are often being identified using x-ray diffraction studies, which are explained by Bragg’s Law. The law explains the relationship between an x-ray light shooting into and its reflection off from crystal surface.
    • Powder X-ray Diffraction
      When an X-ray is shined on a crystal, it diffracts in a pattern characteristic of the structure. In powder X-ray diffraction, the diffraction pattern is obtained from a powder of the material, rather than an individual crystal. Powder diffraction is often easier and more convenient than single crystal diffraction since it does not require individual crystals be made. Powder X-ray diffraction (XRD) also obtains a diffraction pattern for the bulk material of a crystalline solid, rather than of a s
    • X-ray Crystallography
      X-ray Crystallography is a scientific method used to determine the arrangement of atoms of a crystalline solid in three dimensional space. This technique takes advantage of the interatomic spacing of most crystalline solids by employing them as a diffraction gradient for x-ray light, which has wavelengths on the order of 1 angstrom (10-8 cm).
    • X-ray Diffraction
      The construction of a simple powder diffractometer was first described by Hull in 19171 which was shortly after the discovery of X-rays by Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen in 18952. Diffractometer measures the angles at which X-rays get reflected and thus get the structural information they contains. Nowadays resolution of this technique get significant improvement and it is widely used as a tool to analyze the phase information and solve crystal structures of solid-state materials.

    Thumbnail: Photo of an X-Ray Diffraction machine. Photo from the Australian Microscopy & Microanalysis Research Facility Website. .

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