Total Scattering Laboratory



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X-ray Diffraction

Conventional X-ray Diffraction studies are currently performed using two powder (θ:θ and θ:2θ) diffractometers, equipped with a Cu target, a linear PSD and heating stages for sample conditioning (one Peltier driven), and one single crystal diffractometer, equipped with a Mo target and a scintillation detector. These are normally used for structural characterization of small organic molecules and coordination polymers, mostly by ab-initio structural powder diffraction techniques, pioneered and developed (also) by us un the last two decades. Particular emphasis has been given to active pharmaceutical ingredients, manifesting interesting crystal chemistry (polymorphism, T-induced phase transitions and dehydration/desolvation processes; e.g. Cryst. Growth Des., 2014), to organics for microelectronics (e.g., Adv. Funct. Mater., 2014) and to Metal Organic Frameworks (e.g., Science, 2013), capable of selective separation of liquids and gases, not affording single crystals of suitable quality.

Powder Diffractometry is also extensively used as a preliminary characterization tool for dry nanomaterials, checking the phase purity and estimating their average size, prior to measurements at a synchrotron source, typically the MS X03SA beamline of the Swiss Light Source at the Paul Scherrer Institute.


Finally, Powder Diffraction is also used as an accurate analytical tool (qualitative phase analysis and quantitative crystal phase composition), for scientific and academic purposes, as well as for samples of industrial origin. Several contacts with pharmaceutical, mechanical, electro-ceramic, etc. companies are presently at work, and are steadily increasing. Thus, a dense technology transfer, supported by teaching aids and tailored classrooms, is also provided.


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