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X-ray Science

Powder Diffraction (Chemistry)


The Chemistry Department at Durham University has state-of-the art equipment for powder diffraction measurements and members of staff have considerable expertise in all aspects of this analytical technique.  We interact with a number of companies both in the UK and overseas in the application of powder diffraction techniques and with a number of other universities and research institutions on the development of experimental and computational methods in powder diffraction.  We also host a biennial residential training course on powder diffraction and Rietveld refinement.

Services Available

Powder diffraction is a key analytical method in a number of different areas of science.  Typical applications include:

  • Qualitative phase analysis of unknown samples
  • Quantitative phase analysis
  • Polymorphism studies in pharmaceutical and other systems
  • Particle size/strain analysis
  • Cultural heritage studies on archaeological artefacts
  • Structure solutions of inorganic, organic and pharmaceutical materials
  • Hydration/dehydration studies
  • Estimation of amorphous content in materials
  • Structure refinements of inorganic oxides
  • Studies on phase transitions of materials
  • Kinetic studies in the solid state


Prof. John Evans