X-Ray Diffraction (XRD)

The Malvern PANalytical X-ray Facility at Georgia Tech is located on the ground floor of the Marcus Nanotechnology Building and houses three state-of-the-art Malvern PANalytical X-Pert Pro X-Ray Diffractometers (XRD’s).  XRD is a rapid analytical technique primarily used for phase identification of a crystalline material and can provide information on unit cell dimensions. The three diffractometers are:

  • The Alpha-1 which has an incident beam Johannsson monochromator and an X’Celerator solid-state detector,
  • The Materials Processing Diffractometer (MPD) which has a non-ambient stage capable of operating between (-196C – 450C), a reflectivity stage, as well as a flat sample stage (default) for powder and small solid sample analysis.
  • The Materials Research Diffractometer (MRD) with a 4-circle goniometer, incident and diffracted beam optics, and a triple axis diffracted beam monochromator
  • The Empyrean which has a high temperature furnace capable of reaching 1200 degrees Celsius for in-situ experiments, a 15-slot automatic sample changer, and Small Angle X-Ray Scattering (SAXS) capability.


The functionality of these instruments is greatly multiplied by Malvern PANalytical’s revolutionary “PREFIX” optics system whereby instrument optics may be reconfigured with little more than the turn of a set screw, and an instrument may be changed from diverging beam optics to parallel beam optics in less than 5 minutes while still being completely aligned. The extensive range of measurements that can be performed using these instruments includes:

  • Phase identification, Crystal structure refinement, Diffraction peak profile analysis, Quantitative analysis
  • Thermal expansion analysis, Unit cell refinement, High temperature diffraction,
  • Texture and pole figure analysis, Residual stress analysis, Rocking curve and Reciprocal space mapping.


If you would like training on any of these instruments and have a GTLogin; please log into SUMS, find the tool you would like to get trained on, and click on the request training button. That will start a forum conversation where we can discuss your sample and what kind of data you would like to generate, and we can determine the best instrument for your needs.

If you have any questions, please contact: David Tavakoli (david.tavakoli@mse.gatech.edu)