• powder X-ray diffraction;
  • X-ray diffraction cells;
  • solid–gas reactions;
  • hydrogen absorption

This paper describes new sample cells and techniques for in situ powder X-ray diffraction specifically designed for gas absorption studies up to ca 300 bar (1 bar = 100 000 Pa) gas pressure. The cells are for multipurpose use, in particular the study of solid–gas reactions in dosing or flow mode, but can also handle samples involved in solid–liquid–gas studies. The sample can be loaded into a single-crystal sapphire (Al2O3) capillary, or a quartz (SiO2) capillary closed at one end. The advantages of a sapphire single-crystal cell with regard to rapid pressure cycling are discussed, and burst pressures are calculated and measured to be ∼300 bar. An alternative and simpler cell based on a thin-walled silicate or quartz glass capillary, connected to a gas source via a VCR fitting, enables studies up to ∼100 bar. Advantages of the two cell types are compared and their applications are illustrated by case studies.