XRF or XRD? Crystallographers descend on Leicester
X-ray fluorescence (XRF) involves the emission of secondary x-rays from a material which is being bombarded with x-rays or gamma rays while X-ray diffraction involves, well, the diffraction of x-rays from the surfaces within a crystalline structure. A surprising number of substances are actually crystalline and XRD can be used to identify the mineralogy of crystalline materials. It is ideally suited for characterising rocks, soils, clays, cements and building materials.
The Department of Geology operates a PANalytical Axios-Advanced XRF spectrometer and, for XRD work, a Bruker D8 Advance with DaVinci, equipped with a LynxEye Linear Position Sensitive Detector and a 90-position autosampler. Oh yes.
The XRF experts have their get-together first, on Wednesday 23 May, as a joint meeting with the Atomic Spectroscopy Group Analytical Division of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and several Leicester academics are lined up to speak.
Professor Andy Saunders and Dr Marc Riechow will present on ‘The use of XRF in the Earth Sciences: Understanding Volcanic Super-Eruptions’; Dr Simon Lawes will speak about ‘X-Ray Computer Aided Tomographic scanning – the newest X-Ray toy on the block’; and Dr Mike Norry’s paper has the marvellous title ‘So we’ve got some numbers from the XRF – what can we do with them to understand rocks?’
The next day it’s the turn of the XRD community to discuss 'Phase Identification and Crystallography in Industry'. Leicester contributors include Cheryl Haidon on ‘Phase ID of Geological Materials', Jennifer Graham on ‘Using PXRD in Support of the Investigation of Lithofacies in Carboniferous Mudstones’ and two academics from our Space Research Centre: Dr Grame Hansford on ‘X-Ray Diffraction without Sample Preparation’ and Professor George Fraser, who can probably expect a packed lecture theatre for his talk on ‘Detection of Counterfeit Whisky'.