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J Synchrotron Radiat. 2011 Nov;18(Pt 6):891-8. doi: 10.1107/S0909049511038830. Epub 2011 Oct 6.

Capabilities of through-the-substrate microdiffraction: application of Patterson-function direct methods to synchrotron data from polished thin sections.

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Institut de Ciencia de Materials de Barcelona, CSIC, Campus de la UAB, 08193 Bellaterra, Catalonia, Spain.


Some theoretical and practical aspects of the application of transmission microdiffraction (µXRD) to thin sections (≤30 µm thickness) of samples fixed or deposited on substrates are discussed. The principal characteristic of this technique is that the analysed micro-sized region of the thin section is illuminated through the substrate (tts-µXRD). Fields that can benefit from this are mineralogy, petrology and materials sciences since they often require in situ lateral studies to follow the evolution of crystalline phases or to determine new crystal structures in the case of phase transitions. The capability of tts-µXRD for performing structural studies with synchrotron radiation is shown by two examples. The first example is a test case in which tts-µXRD intensity data of pure aerinite are processed using Patterson-function direct methods to directly solve the crystal structure. In the second example, tts-µXRD is used to study the transformation of laumonite into a new aluminosilicate for which a crystal structure model is proposed.


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