This instrument is can be used for determining the structure, crystallinity, or phase composition of a powdered sample. We use this for characterization of materials such as stone, mortar, and brick.
Bruker D2 Phaser XRD
The Bruker D2 Phaser is a benchtop XRD unit. It uses x-rays to examine short- and long-range molecular structure of a sample. The instrument bombards the powdered sample with a highly focused stream of x-rays, which interact with the material and bounce off of the atoms at angles characteristic of the sample’s molecular geometry, these bounced x-rays are then measured by the detector. The instrument will continue this bombardment while scanning through a range of angles to gather more complete structural data. The data is presented as a graph of the number of x-ray counts by angle of reflection. The main drawback to this technique is that it is moderately destructive: it requires a powdered or pressed-pellet sample for analysis.
These data are complementary to element composition data, such as that collected by x-ray fluorescence or mass spectrometry. For example, when examining glass and quartz, both have the elemental composition of SiO2 but very different long-range molecular structures. Glass has a random arrangement of SiO2 molecules with no long-range order; the XRD pattern for glass is characterized by very broad peak features. Quartz, on the other hand is a crystal and has a highly ordered structure of SiO2 that repeats; the XRD pattern is characterized by specifically spaced, sharp peaks characteristic of the long-range order of the SiO2 molecules.
Researchers at NCPTT have used XRD to examine the effects of herbicides on the built environment, and to examine corrosion on metals.
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