Surface Coating / Alfa Chemistry

X-Ray Diffraction for Surface Chemical Analysis


The chemical characterisation of the surface of the material is crucial. The non-destructive technique of X-ray diffraction (XRD) provides detailed information about a material's crystal structure, chemical composition, and physical properties. Alfa Chemistry can employ XRD to establish the composition of an unknown sample or prove its existence by providing structural information about the crystalline phase.

Learn About X-Ray Diffraction

The incident beam of monochromatic X-rays is scattered by the ordered structure of the crystal phase, resulting in X-ray diffraction. This dispersion creates a pattern that is unique to the structure's arrangement and identity of atoms. For characterizing crystalline materials, X-ray diffraction is a potent non-destructive technique. Structure, phase, preferred crystal orientation, and other structural data such as average grain size and crystallinity are also provided.

X-Ray Diffraction for Surface Chemical AnalysisFig 1. A schematic diagram showing the geometric set-up of X-ray diffraction (XRD) residual stress measurements. (Luo Q. S, et al. 2017)

The XRD technique is a potent tool that is frequently utilized in both research and industry. Although XRD is best known for analyzing crystalline phases in materials qualitatively and quantitatively, more information can be obtained by carefully analyzing the diffraction pattern or using specific XRD settings, such as solid solution characterization, different levels of internal elastic strain/stress, temperature influence, close surface characterization, and so on.

X-Ray Diffraction of Alfa Chemistry

Whether it's a powder, a film, a flat sample, or a matrix of dispersed particles in a liquid, Alfa Chemistry's experienced team of senior scientists, chemists, and analysts can utilize XRD to assess the composition of a sample or confirm the finding of a specific molecule. XRD and extra information from elemental analysis techniques like as X-ray fluorescence can often be used to partially identify unknown residues or precipitates.

X-Ray Diffraction for Surface Chemical Analysis

We use XRD technology and there are some other potential uses:

  • Differentiate polymorphs of the same compound
  • Polymorphs have the identical chemical make-up, but their atom configurations can cause considerable differences in their properties.

  • Estimate the concentration of crystalline compounds in the sample
  • The crystal structure of the identified compound in the sample can be utilized to create a model of all aspects of the XRD analysis, which can then be compared to the observed XRD data.

  • Check the changes of the sample during the heating process by performing temperature-controlled XRD experiments
  • Thermal events identified through thermal analysis can be recognized by doing XRD analysis at a lower temperature than when the event began and then maintaining that temperature.

    Alfa Chemistry can handle all of your XRD analysis demands as your comprehensive quality assurance partner.


  • Luo Q. S, et al. (2017). "Uncertainty of the X-ray Diffraction (XRD) sin2 ψ Technique in Measuring Residual Stresses of Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) Hard Coatings." Coatings. 7(8): 128.

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