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Powder and High-Resolution XRD Facility

The Powder and High-Resolution XRD facility is equipped with two highly versatile multipurpose X-ray diffractometers from Rigaku, SmartLab and SmartLab SE with built-in intelligent guidance. The combined capabilities of the diffractometers provide a comprehensive structural characterization of various types of materials (metals, ceramics, nanoparticles, polymers, geological specimens) in either bulk or thin-film form. The structural materials characterization includes phase identification, qualitative and quantitative composition analysis, differentiation between crystalline and amorphous phases, determination of structure, lattice parameters, orientation and texture, evaluation of crystallite sizes and strains, monitoring of quality control.

photo of the two SmartLab X-ray diffractometers

The SmartLab SE system currently has para-focusing optics (Bragg-Brentano geometry) that allows powder XRD measurements for powder samples. XRD measurement performed by SmartLab SE is controlled by a built-in software program SmartLab Studio II. The rapid phase identification analysis and quantitative analysis of powder samples are available using SmartLab Studio II. The SmartLab SE system is equipped with a 1D ceramic strip detector D/teX Ultra250 that detects and integrates X-ray intensity efficiently, so that data can be collected as fast as within a few minutes. In addition, the detector has high resolution and therefore can reduce the overall background of the measurement enabling the detection of XRD peaks of minor components easily.

SmartLab from Rigaku is a horizontal sample mount multipurpose X-ray diffractometer that permits measurements and characterization for both powder and thin-film samples. The instrument is equipped with a cross beam optics (CBO) unit that enables easy switching between the direct beam para-focusing (BB) and parallel beam (PB) geometries simply by changing a selection slit. Additionally, features and capabilities include:

  • 3kW long-focus sealed-tube Cu X-ray generator
  • A theta-theta goniometer (omega scans, 2-theta/omega scans, 2-theta scans)
  • A chi axis (tilt adjustment), a Z axis (thickness adjustment), and a phi axis (adjustment of in-plane orientation)
  • The in-plane arm and RxRy attachment
  • Ge(220) 2-bounce and Ge(220) 4-bounce monochromators
  • CBO-f unit for measurements of micro area (μ-XRD) and micro amount of sample
  • Interchangeable double-slit analyzer, parallel-slit analyzer, and 2-bounce analyzer on receiving side
  • The two-slit SAXS optics with a multilayer mirror

SmartLab diffractometer allows the high-resolution XRD that includes Grazing Incidence Diffraction (GID), reflectivity (XRR), rocking curves, and reciprocal space mapping (RSM) measurements and analysis of thin films. Compared to powder XRD which allows first of all phase identification and structure analysis, the high-resolution XRD methods allow measurements of film thickness, film density, surface or interface roughness, film quality, complete film orientation, as well as strain state and strain distribution which is important for epitaxial thin films grown on solid substrates.

The Powder and High-Resolution X-Ray Diffraction facility is available to Penn faculty, staff and students, and to outside users on an hourly fee basis.

Instrument Non-Penn academic users Industrial users
Rigaku SmartLab SE $6/hour $100/hour or $1000/24-hour day
Rigaku SmartLab $12/hour $200/hour or $2000/24-hour day

There is no charge for initial training.

XRD Measurement Service is available at an additional 39% administrative fee to the total cost of service for outside users who are unable to visit the facility directly.

Facilities users must include the following text in the acknowledgment section of their publications:

“The authors acknowledge the use of the XRD facility supported by the Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter and the NSF through the University of Pennsylvania Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) DMR-2309043.”

Oversight Committee:

Thomas Mallouk

Christopher Murray

Eric Stach


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