Handheld X-Ray Diffraction Analysis.

Handheld instrument that can provide rapid analysis for the detection of a specific mineral or crystalline phase with no sample preparation.

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Background.

Current X-ray diffraction (XRD) methods usually require careful sample preparation, such as grinding to a fine powder. The sample, or part of it, is destroyed in the process. Conventional XRD instrumentation is bulky with limited portability, so samples have to be sent to off-site laboratories with a turnaround me of days or weeks.

University of Leicester researchers have developed handheld XRD instrumentation that can provide a rapid (1-2 mins) in situ phase analysis of a sample with no preparation requirement:

  • ¬†Avoiding sample preparation is a key me-saving step in itself, and the sample is analysed in its nave condition with no biases or changes introduced by preparation methods.
  • Multiple potential applications including mining (e.g. iron ores, limestone quality), metals and alloys, especially steel analysis, and cultural heritage.
  • Instrumentation can be tailored to provide enhanced detection of a specific mineral or crystalline phase.
  • For mining and industrial applications, streamlining of operations provide major cost savings. An example being grade control of iron ores prior to shipping.

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