Mission Statement

POWGEN is a third generation powder instrument that enables structural characterization of novel polycrystalline materials.

Instrument Description

POWGEN is a general-purpose powder diffractometer useful for a wide range of structural studies. It can cover d-spacings from ~0.3 Å, or less, to 4.5 Å in a single measurement. Rietveld measurements for traditional neutron size samples can be completed in a few hours, with a <0.2% resolution at short d-spacings and <1% resolution for nearly all d-spacings of interest. Alternatively, much of this resolution can be traded for intensity, making it possible to make shorter measurements with still quite good resolution. It is also possible to collect data from much smaller samples with longer collection time. The adjustable bandwidth-limiting choppers allow large variations in the incident wavelengths and pulse repetition rate. Insertable guide sections and the ability to trade resolution for intensity at the analysis stage allow users great latitude for optimizing the data range, resolution, and statistical precision for each experiment.


Scientific studies at this instrument encompass a wide range of novel materials. These include, but are not limited to, structural studies of energy storage materials such as battery materials, ceramic membranes for solid oxide fuel cells and oxygen sensors, hydrogen storage materials and thermoelectric materials. The availability of long d-spacings also enables the study of magnetic materials such as high-Tc superconductors, metal-insulator phase transitions, charge and orbital ordering transitions, and molecular magnets. POWGEN capabilities can contribute to understanding materials such as zeolite and aluminophosphate frameworks; metals and semiconductors; dielectrics, ferroelectrics; and ab initio structure solutions of complex polycrystalline materials such as pharmaceutical compounds.


ModeratorDecoupled poison supercritical H2
Source-to-sample distance60 m
Sample-to-detector distance2.5-4.5 m
Detector angular coverage30 < 2Θ < 150
Total detector coverage6.9 m2
Bandwidth~1 Å
Frame 10.1-3 Å @ 60 Hz
Frame 52.2-15.2 Å @ 60 Hz
Resolution0.001 < Δd/d < 0.016
Sample environmentILL furnace: 1200°C
Gas handling insert for ILL furnace (with RGA and pO2 sensor): 850°C
24 sample changer: 10-300K
Orange Cryostat: 2-300K
Cryofurnace: 5-650K