Studying materials in non-ambient conditions is important for many industries and research topics. The combination of X-ray diffraction (XRD) and a controlled environment gives direct information about the behavior of materials under varying temperatures and atmospheres. Unlike complementary techniques, such as Differential Scanning Calorimetry, XRD not only shows that something changes, it also shows what is happening.
Accurate determination of peak positions and peak shifts is difficult under changing non-ambient conditions. Especially with the parafocusing geometry, which is normally preferred because it yields high-quality diffractograms in just a few minutes per temperature; instrumental artifacts like macroscopic sample height variations induce additional peak shifts. This application tutorial describes how to get rid of this effect.