I11: High Resolution Powder Diffraction
Powder diffraction is the principal technique for determining the structure of materials that do not necessarily form large ordered crystals. It is therefore the technique of choice for the analysis of many naturally occurring real-world materials such as minerals and artefacts, as well as novel man-made materials where synthesis is under-developed, or highly strained materials subject to twinning, or indeed again where they do not naturally form lsingle crystals.
The technique has the advantage of a relatively simple scattering geometry but has been much enhanced by the development of intense synchrotron sources as well as advances in data analysis, using modelling, direct methods and global optimisation methods.
High intensity X-ray sources, such as the I11 undulator, coupled to increases in detector speeds at high resolution makes powder diffraction the technique of choice for in situ and in operando studies of materials under non-ambient conditions such as high/low temperatures or gas loading.
In recent years powder diffraction has provided crucial structural information for many strategically important materials including:
- Metal-organic-frameworks for carbon capture and gas storage
- Lithium-ion battery and Solid Oxide Fuel Cell materials
- High performance alloys
- Self-assembled nano-scale solids
- High temperature superconductors
- Bio-engineered materials and minerals
The combination of very high angular resolution, high count rates and controlled environmental conditions on I11 make it possible to carry out detailed structural analysis of complex materials. These studies are important to many fundamental areas of the physical, life and environmental sciences as well as pharmaceutical, engineering and industrial materials.
This versatile beamline has the resolving power to probe deep into sample structures ( Δ d/d ~ 10-3-10-5), to detect rapid changes ( Δ t ~ ms-s) under non-ambient conditions as they occur and to perform resonant diffraction in order to solve complex structures containing low normal electron contrasts.
Please also refer to the technical information (in the tabs above) and our Application Guidelines.
The Long Duration Experiment (LDE) project is now in operation. This new facility is unique within the synchrotron world and can be used for scientific investigations where samples need to be maintained at, or cycled through, various non-ambient conditions for extended periods of time. More details regarding the upgrade project can be found here.
To complement the existing I11 high resolution and fast time-resolved facilities, the LDE facility opens up new opportunities for those experiments which require weeks to months of periodically monitoring “slow” changes. It is of particular benefit to certain research areas such as batteries and fuel cells where important information on the development of phases over time cannot be obtained via ex-situ methods. Other research areas that will similarly benefit include studies of crystallisation, nuclear waste storage materials, gas storage, mineral evolution, seasonal effects, thermal and electrical power cycling and corrosion science, etc.