Department of Physics

X-ray Diffractometry

4xray_400_300.jpgThe Rigaku D/max Diffractometer is used to measure the x-ray diffraction pattern of a sample of powdered material. The x-rays are produced when high-energy electrons are fired towards a copper target and slow down – due to repulsive forces between these electrons and the electrons in the surface of the copper – leading to x-rays being sprayed towards the sample which is on a glass plate. The x-rays then diffract from the layers of atoms inside the sample into different directions towards a detector. The brightness of the X-rays that are scattered into certain directions allow us to identify the material that the X-rays are scattering from.