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Solids: Characterization by Powder Diffraction

  1. Tom Vogt

Published Online: 15 MAR 2006

DOI: 10.1002/0470862106.ia223m

Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry

How to Cite

Vogt, T. 2006. Solids: Characterization by Powder Diffraction . Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAR 2006


This review article covers recent developments in X-ray and neutron powder diffraction with an emphasis on the complementary nature of these two condensed matter probes. After a short summary of the basics of X-ray and neutron scattering, examples of ‘mesoscopic’ structure investigations (i.e. particle size, strain) are presented followed by state-of-the-art combined neutron and X-ray high-resolution powder diffraction studies of ‘real’ catalysts. Neutron and X-ray powder diffraction studies in magnetic fields are highlighted and the reemergence of the total scattering approach using pair-distribution function (PDF) analysis within the context of ‘nanocrystallography’ is discussed. Modern examples of high-pressure crystallography using X-ray and neutrons are given. A short outlook considers future directions in light of nanoscience and new X-ray and neutron sources.


  • X-ray and neutron diffraction;
  • powder diffraction;
  • Williamson-Hall method;
  • catalysts;
  • magnetic fields;
  • atomic pair-distribution functions (PDF);
  • high-pressure diffraction