• X-ray diffraction;
  • combinatorial chemistry;
  • rapid screening;
  • area detectors;
  • mineral phase identification

A low-budget automatic sample changer that allows the rapid analysis of powder or polycrystalline samples using an X-ray single-crystal diffractometer equipped with an area detector is here described. It uses control software that synchronizes the movement of a linear stage with the collection of frames by the diffractometer. Small pieces of thin solid samples are directly attached to a 30 cm ruler, which is used as a disposable magazine, while loose powder samples are loaded into holes on an acetate strip covered on both sides with Kapton tape and attached to the ruler. The use of this type of diffractometer with a sample changer is a simple, low cost and effective solution for studies requiring the analysis of a large number of samples by X-ray powder diffraction. With the current design up to 30 samples can be measured in a single experiment. The current sample changer was designed so that it can be fitted into a Bruker SMART APEX X-ray single-crystal diffractometer. However, it can be easily adapted to diffractometers from other makers.