What the XRD machines can do
Instruments can be configured in reflectance and transmission geometries, and with either divergent (Bragg-Brentano) or parallel-beam optics. Some can be configured for cobalt radiation to allow for the measurement of highly fluorescing samples, e.g. Fe rich powders. Machines can be set up in parallel-beam geometry for the measurement of low angles and moderately rough surfaces. This means a wide range of material types can be investigated including powders, thin films and moderately rough surfaces (e.g. composite fibre mats) as well as highly oriented samples (e.g. clays) and Fe and Mn bearing minerals. In addition to XRD it is also possible to carry x-ray reflectometery experiments of thin (< 200 nm) films on atomically smooth surfaces (e.g. silicon wafers).