X-ray Diffraction (XRD)

X-ray diffraction is a well-known technique that can provide a lot of useful information. It can be used to determine the phases present in a solid and thus help obtain its molecular and elemental composition. For example, it can used to used to quickly identify the compounds present in a mineral or inorganic industrial product.

During the analysis, samples are bombarded with x-rays that are diffracted by the crystalline planes at different angles. This signal is then collected and plotted in a graph showing the signal intensity according to the angle. In crystalline samples, specific peaks will be present and can then be used to identify the phase(s) present.


Type of samples: Crystalline solids (inorganics or some organics)
Type of information: Elemental or molecular
Precision: Qualitative (semi-quantitative in some cases)
Detection limit: 5%
Depth of analysis: several microns
Smallest measurable area: 250 microns in diameters


-Identification of phases present in a sample

-Crystallographic analysis

-Determination of the degree of crystallinity of polymers





Phase identification (leading to molecular and elemental information)

Generally fast and well-known

Large databases are available to perform the identification


Only useful for crystalline materials

Semi-quantitative analyses can be difficult

For complex samples (several phases, the identification can be difficult)

-Quantification des phases dans des minéraux ou des métaux

-Analyse de polymorphes dans l’industrie pharmaceutique

-Identification de l’orientation préférentielle dans des couches minces

-Analyse de la structure de vitamines, protéines ou médicaments

-Identification de phases

-Analyses de semiconducteurs

Manufacturier: Brucker
-D8 Advance
-D8 Discover/GADDS/Combinatoire
-D8 Discover/GADDS/

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