Benchtop Powder X-ray Diffractometer for High Throughput Materials Characterization
Department of Chemistry
We request funds to purchase a benchtop powder X-ray diffractometer equipped with an automated sample changer for use by students across a variety of UW departments. Powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD) is an essential materials characterization tool widely used across chemistry, chemical engineering, and materials science. It is the primary, and often only, technique able to probe the crystal structure of powder samples. PXRD patterns are routinely used to confirm the structure of known compounds; to solve the structure of completely unknown, novel phases; and to characterize crystallite size, strain, and defects present in nanomaterials. Despite its critical role in modern-day materials research, powder X-ray diffraction is poorly integrated into our lower and upper-level laboratory courses. There are no easy to use, robust, and high throughput PXRD instruments available on campus for broad student use. The purchase of modern, state-of-the-art benchtop powder X-ray diffractometer would dramatically expand the use of powder diffraction from a limited set of advanced researchers to a large population of undergraduate and graduate students.