XRDs moving on March 6-March11, 2022

Hello everyone,

Our current set of XRD instruments, while capable and well-maintained, are beyond their design lifetime and – save for the Empyrean – are no longer supported by the OEM.  At the same time, we have had extensive conversations with faculty on campus who want to do more advanced XRD measurements than our current tools will support.
To address both issues:  We have some big news to share. With the financial and technical support of the EVPR and Prof. M. Mourigal, the MCF is acquiring three new XRD systems from Rigaku to be housed in the Marcus Microanalysis lab in the MCF.  This acquisition will add or extend capabilities for:
  • Cryo measurements (down to LHe temps)
  • PDF measurements
  • Auto-samplers for multi-sample measurements.
Though there will be a learning curve for the new data analysis SW, researchers will be able to do that analysis on their own computers instead of having to use the one central system in the MCF lab.
Not to bury the lede, but to prepare for the installation of the the XRDs, the existing PANalytical instruments will be moving to the Paper Tricentennial Building the week of March 6th. We anticipate that they will be down from March 6 to March 10, and should be available for use by Monday, March 13th. Please plan to complete your XRD work by Sunday, March 5th. 
There will be a transition of MCF support from the Panalytical systems to the Rigaku systems over the rest of calendar year 2022, but there should always be an operational PXRD and single-crystal system available in the MCF.

We want to stress that we are not losing any currently available capabilities and are adding several advanced measurement modes.  The new instruments give us flexibility to augment with additional capabilities over time.

Please contact David Tavakoli or another member of the MCF staff if you have any questions or concerns.

Webinar: Focus on Battery Research: Studying Battery Cathode Materials Using X-Ray Diffraction

Tuesday, April 22: 10:30-11:30AM.

The cathode in a lithium-ion battery undergoes unique electrochemical reactions as lithium enters and leaves the atomic structure of the intercalated lithium compound. The intricacies of this reaction are one source of degradation and, therefore, an opportunity to improve performance. X-ray diffraction and scattering is well-suited to study these atomic phase changes, as well as a tool to understand and optimize the pathways that lithium uses to move through the cathode. However, studying battery materials requires special considerations that are different than the routine powder diffraction measurement.

This webinar, hosted by Malvern PANalytical will review the information that X-ray diffraction and scattering provides and discuss special considerations for experimental design such as selecting an X-ray tube, measurement geometry, and sample holder. We will then show examples of how these considerations are applied to cathode material analysis, including Rietveld refinement to quantify phase mixtures and atomic structure, pair distribution function analysis to examine local structural defects, and phase analysis of thick (10mm) commercial pouch cells, and in operando analysis of LFP based batteries to track phase changes during discharge and charging.

You can sign up for it here.


Dr. Scott Speakman – Principal Scientist Malvern Panalytical
and Dr. Reeves-McLaren of The University of Sheffield

More information

– Who should attend?
Those working within the field of battery research or manufacturing or anyone interested in X-ray Diffraction of materials.
– What will you learn?
You will be educated on the X-ray diffraction and scattering application of lithium-ion batteries, including: Electrochemical reactions and atomic phase changes, with discussion on the special considerations needed for this application.


Webinar – Malvern PANalytical demonstration of Empyrean Series 3

The MCF will be showing a webinar on the new Malvern PANalytical Empyrean in the lobby tomorrow, Wednesday, December 18, 2019 from 10:30-11:30AM,


Join us for a demonstration of the New Empyrean 3rd generation X-ray diffractometer. Like no other system available, the Empyrean is designed for now, and for years to come. A fully automated series of 6 samples will be demonstrated using several different measurements types, including reflection geometry, SAXS, 2D transmission, texture, residual stress, thin film reflectivity, and grazing incidence XRD. The Optics enable the analyst a large variety of measurements without manual intervention. The predefined batch function with data collector has the programming power to switch between measurement types seamlessly. The world of materials science is constantly changing and the life of a high performance diffractometer like the Empyrean 3rd generation will deliver results that save time and effort,as well as, ensure accuracy of the experimental set up.


  • Who should attend?

– Anyone interested in XRD and the innovation of the floor standing X-ray diffraction platform


If you wish to watch this demonstration at your own desk or elsewhere, you can register for it here.

MCF is adding another XRD!

X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) is a powerful tool to look at crystals for characterizing microstructural and crystallographic properties of powders, thin films, fibers and other solid materials. The MCF has recently added another XRD, a Malvern PANalytical MPD to its capabilities. This XRD has a flat sample stage (default) for the analysis of powders and small solids, a non-ambient stage capable of running from -196C-450C, and a reflectivity stage. It should be on SUMS no later than 8/12/2019!

Image result for ford xrd gatech

A Day In The Life of an XRD!

The Malvern PANalytical Empyrean in the MCF was featured prominently in a story recently posted online!

Many thanks to Neha Kondekar and Xenia Wirth as well as the MSE 2021 class for agreeing to participate!

If you would like to see the blog post, you can see it here!

The core facility for materials analysis at Georgia Tech is the IEN/IMat Materials Characterization Facility (MCF). The MCF is available to academic, industry and government users; it merges several labs on Georgia Tech’s campus and offers a variety of microscopy and characterization tools as well as skilled research staff to support research needs. Offering 24-hour a day shared-user access to the latest in imaging and analysis technology, and operated on a fee rate schedule, the MCF facility provides services for researchers including equipment training, remote sample prep and measurement, and imaging and analysis consultations.

MCF also happens to be where this top public research university and institute of technology houses their Malvern Panalytical Empyrean X-ray diffraction (XRD) instrument. The Empyrean XRD system generates X-rays, directs them toward a sample, and collects diffracted rays (the angle between the incident and the diffracted beam). Collected data are widely used for the identification of unknown crystalline materials (e.g. minerals, inorganic compounds), quantification of crystalline and amorphous materials, thin film thickness and structure, and many more applications. These applications are critical to studies in geology, environmental science, material science, engineering and biology.