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X-ray Facility

Faculty Director:

safinya [at] mrl [dot] ucsb [dot] edu (Professor Cyrus Safinya)
Technical Director

youli [at] mrl [dot] ucsb [dot] edu (Dr. Youli Li)

Staff Research Associate

miguelz [at] mrl [dot] ucsb [dot] edu (Miguel Zepeda)


MRL 1012,1032 and CNSI (Elings Hall) 1409 (UCSB Campus Map)

The MRL X-ray Facility provides state-of-the-art x-ray diffraction tools for characterizing structural properties of a wide range of materials including metals and composites, polymers and biological materials, and electronic and optoelectronic materials in the lengthscale range of 0.1 nm - 100 nm. As a key research asset of the MRL, the x-ray facility is accessible by MRL researchers as well as off-campus academic groups and industrial users. In addition to maintaining an array of commercial and custom-built specialty instruments, the facility staff also conducts active research in developing new x-ray imaging methods and instrumentation to advance the capabilities of x-ray characterization techniques.

Management, operation and acquisition of equipment for the X-ray facility is supported by the Materials Research Laboratory: an NSF Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC).

Facility Type: 


  1. Ancillary Equipment

    Nikon Optophot Upright Microscope

    Full featured microscope for bright and dark field imaging, phase contrast, and polarized microscopy in reflection or transmission mode. The objectives are 5x, 10x, 20x, 40x. The microscope is set up with extensive video microscopy capabilities, including a CCD video camera, Sony S-VHS video recorder, Sony black and white and color video printers. A Nikon film camera and a 3.3 megapixel digital camera are also available.

    Perkin-Elmer Lambda 20 UV-VIS Spectrometer

  2. Confocal Microscope

    Confocal Microscope Features

  3. Four Circle Wide Angle X-ray Diffractometer(WAXS)


  4. Intermediate Small Angle Diffractometer (2-Circle)


  5. Panalytical MRD PRO Materials Research Diffractometer


  6. Philips X’PERT MPD


  7. Rigaku Smartlab High-Resolution Diffractometer

    The SmartLab high-resolution diffraction system represents the state of the art in fully automated modular XRD systems. The system incorporates a high resolution theta/theta closed loop goniometer drive system, Rigaku's patented cross beam optics (CBO) technology (US Patent 6,807,251), an in-plane scattering arm and a fully automated optical system to make advanced measurements possible for both expert and novice users of the system.

  8. Small Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS) Diffractometer

    The SAXS instrument provides cutting edge capabilities for probing large lengthscale structures such as polymers, biological macromolecules, meso- and nano-porous materials, and molecular self-assemblies. Background scattering is minimized through the use of a evacuated flight path and vacuum compatible motorized slits.