Enraf-Nonius Powder Diffraction Systems 120


The laboratory has three Enraf-Nonius Powder Diffraction Systems 120. Rapid data acquisition is achieved by using an INEL 120º curved position sensitive detector (PSD). The set up of each machine varies as follows:

  • XRD-PSD2 - Cu Ka1 radiation - used for phase identification, phase quantification
  • XRD-PSD3 - Co Ka1 radiation - used for phase identification, phase quantification, well suited for iron bearing samples
  • GeniX High Flux Beam Delivery System - Cu Ka radiation - used with high-temperature stage (Anton Paar HTK10, 20-1600ºC) for monitoring phase transformations and reactions, very small samples possible (micro-to-milligrams, short data collection due to high-flux X-ray source)

Examples for XRD research


Vitrification at high temperatures 

Na-Smectite dehydration

Dehydration of Na montmorillonite

Dehydration of Na montmorillonite

The basal 001-reflection of the clay mineral Na montmorillonite is shown with progressing dehydration. Loss of interlayer water in Na montmorillonite is accompanied by a stepwise collapse of the clay lattice indicated by sequential appearance of peaks at 18.8 Å (3-water), 14.7-16.0 Å (2-water) and 12.7 Å (1-water).

Change from one state to another is extremely fast and is resolved using short exposure times (one-second X-ray snapshots, GeniX High Flux XRD). 

Museum lead

Dr Jens Najorka

X-ray diffraction

Critical elements research

We are using Museum collections and a focused research programme to develop strategies for the sustainable use of Earth's natural resources.

Meteoritics group

We are exploring the origins and evolution of the Sun, Moon, planets, asteroids and comets.

Mineral sciences group

The mineral sciences group manages one of the world's most significant mineral collections.