Neutron Powder Diffractometer
The HB-2A diffractometer is a workhorse instrument used to conduct crystal structural and magnetic structural studies of powdered and ceramic samples, particularly as a function of intensive conditions (T, P, H, etc.). Powder diffraction data collected on this instrument are ideally suited for the Rietveld method. A full range of ancillary sample environments can be used, including cryofurnaces (4–800 K), furnaces (to 1800 K), cryostats (to 0.3 K), and cryomagnets (to 7 T).
The Powder Diffractometer has a Debye-Scherrer geometry. The detector bank has 44 3He tubes, each with 6' Soller collimators. A germanium wafer-stack monochromator is vertically focusing and provides one of three principal wavelengths, depending on which reflection is in the diffracting condition: (113) 2.41 Å, (115) 1.54 Å, and (117) 1.12 Å. The takeoff angle from the monochromator is fixed at 90°, and the minimum peak full width at half maximum (FWHM) is 0.2°. There are two choices of premonochromator collimation (α1 = 12' or open) and three choices of presample collimation (α2 = 16', 21', or 31') that allow the operation of the instrument in high-resolution or high-intensity modes.
Technologically important materials amenable to study by neutron powder diffraction include (but are not limited to) catalysts, ionic conductors, superconductors, alloys, intermetallic compounds, ceramics, cements, colossal magnetoresistance perovskites, magnets, minerals, waste forms, H-storage, thermoelectrics, zeolites, and pharmaceuticals. In addition to traditional crystal structural refinements, studies of phase transitions, thermal expansion, quantitative analysis, residual stress, and ab initio structure solution can be undertaken from the powder data.