Definition: X-Ray Diffraction (XRD)
X-Ray Diffraction (XRD)
X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) is a laboratory-based technique commonly used for identification of crystalline materials and analysis of unit cell dimensions. One of two primary types of XRD analysis (X-ray powder diffraction and single-crystal XRD) is commonly applied to samples to obtain specific information about the crystalline material under investigation. X-ray powder diffraction is widely used in geology, environmental science, material science, and engineering to rapidly identify unknown crystalline substances (typically in less than 20 minutes). A pure, finely ground, and homogenized sample is required for determination of the bulk composition. Additional uses include detailed characterization of crystalline samples, determination of unit cell dimensions, and quantitative determination of modal amounts of minerals in a sample. X-ray powder diffraction can also be applied to the identification of fine-grained minerals.