Standard Article

Structure Determination, X-Ray Diffraction for

X-Ray Spectrometry

  1. D.D.L. Chung

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/9780470027318.a6804

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

How to Cite

Chung, D. 2006. Structure Determination, X-Ray Diffraction for. Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006


X-ray diffraction is a widely used experimental method for materials analysis. The scope of materials analysis that can be provided by X-ray diffraction includes crystalline phase identification, lattice parameter measurement, grain size measurement, and texture analysis. In particular, crystalline phase identification is a basic form of materials analysis that is critically important for metals, ceramics, and other crystalline materials. In contrast, elemental analysis, as provided by X-ray spectroscopy, atomic absorption, etc., provides information on the composition but not the phases. Because a material frequently consists of more than one phase, the composition of the multiphase mixture is not the same as the composition of an individual phase. A true understanding of a crystalline material cannot be obtained until one knows what phases are present in the material. Even if two phases have the same composition, their difference in crystal structure can make them have very different electrical, magnetic, thermal, mechanical, or chemical properties.