X-ray diffraction facility

x-ray diffraction machine

Just as it was the ambition of the Braggs’; accessing, understanding and unlocking atomic structure is the still the aim of our x-ray diffraction facility, over 100 years on.

This allows us to better understand and exploit materials and devices to their full potential. To achieve this, the facility houses a range of x-ray diffractometers as well as a suite of analysis tools to structurally characterise powders, thin films and coating, solid materials, single crystals and devices. 

For more information visit the Bragg Centre for Materials Research website or email the Bragg Centre Team.

Our aim is to produce world-class structural analysis on a wide range of materials to improve the understanding of a materials physical and chemical behaviour such as electrical, thermal, magnetic and mechanical properties. By determining the spacing between crystal lattice planes and the length scales over which they persist, we are able to determine the 3D atomic structure of materials.

Specialist technologies

We have several x-ray diffractometers which can be operated in many different modes. All modes reveal different information about the material such as:

  • Residual stress analysis - Determine residual stress within the structure to better understand the physical properties
  • Texture (preferred orientation) analysis - Study preferential ordering and epitaxial growth of crystallites (such as thin films or single crystals)
  • Bragg-Brentano - Phase identification in crystalline and non-crystalline materials as well as quantification of phases within mixtures
  • Line broadening - Determination of crystallite size
  • Hot and cold stage analysis - To study the effect of different temperatures on the structure and crystalline nature of a material
  • Reflectometry – To characterise surfaces, thin films and multilayers

Specialist research areas

  • Interfaces/surfaces
  • Thin films
  • Powders
  • Ceramics
  • Biomaterials
  • Composite materials
  • Minerals
  • Metallurgy
  • Nanomaterials


X-ray diffraction equipment

  • Empyrean (Malvern PANalytical) for in-situ cutting edge XRD research on thin films, liquids, powders and devices under ambient and non-ambient conditions.
    • Compatible with a range of sample mounting and sample types 
    • Range of modes in reflection and transmission
    • 5-axis cradle for glancing angle (GIXRD), pole figures and texture analysis
    • Hot stage (Anton Parr HTK 1200) upto 1200°C
    • Cold stage (Anton Parr TTK 600) +100°C down to -190°C
  • PANalytical X’Pert PRO for high-throughput, high-quality phase identification and quantification, residual stress analysis, grazing incidence diffraction, X-ray reflectometry, small-angle X-ray scattering and non-ambient diffraction.
    • Hot stage upto 1000°C
    • Cold stage +100°C down to -190°C
    • Point focus and line focus x-ray source
  • Bruker D8 Diffractometer with full sized goniometer pXRD under ambient conditions. 
    • Capillary stage holders for transmission
    • Solid sample capabilities
    • Powder holders
  • PANalytical Aeris Benchtop XRD for high-throughput.
    • 6 sample changer
    • high-quality phase identification and quantification

Analysis suite

  • All-in-one HighScore Plus software suite
  • Rietveld methods
  • Profile fitting
  • Pattern treatment
  • Access to annually updated ICDD (International Centre for Diffraction Data)
  • GSAS 
  • Crystal Maker, Single Crystal and Crystal Diffract software modelling

Who can use the facility?

If you require x-ray diffraction analysis we can advise on the most appropriate modes of operation for you needs at the right cost.

We have highly trained and qualified personnel with the necessary experience to provide high quality, friendly and comprehensive service to both academic and industrial users.

To discuss your requirements please contact: Dr Faye Esat, Facility Manager, t: +44(0)113 343 4142, e: f.esat@leeds.ac.uk