The AXRD Theta-Theta: An Affordable Solution for Non-Ambient Powder Diffraction

Non-ambient diffraction is a powerful tool for identifying the effects of temperature, humidity, pressure, or atmosphere on a sample. Materials exposed to non-ambient environments tend to have different chemical and physical properties than they would in ambient conditions, so non-ambient experimental data can reveal important information about the changes these materials undergo. For example, a metallurgist might use variable-temperature x-ray diffraction (XRD) to measure the thermal expansion coefficient of metal as temperature conditions change.

A pharmaceutical researcher might want to expose medications to a range of temperature and humidity conditions to identify the conditions under which they break down and become ineffective; this testing would help companies make recommendations for proper storage of medication. Because of its ability to closely mimic a variety of real-world conditions, non-ambient diffraction is crucial for the investigation of many different materials, including ceramics, building materials, zeolites, minerals, polymers, and food.   

In order to perform non-ambient experiments, diffractometers must be configured with variable-temperature and pressure stages. By equipping a diffractometer with these stages, advanced experiments (e.g., low-vacuum, high-vacuum, and gas) are all possible; however, because they tend to be large, non-ambient chambers can typically only fit inside large diffractometers. While stages like Anton Paar’s BTS models (150 or 500 °C) are made to fit into benchtop systems, their more powerful temperature stages (up to 2300 °C) require more space inside a diffractometer. For those who want to perform experiments at higher temperatures without having to purchase a large, costly system, Proto has developed an intermediate solution to bridge the gap.

The Proto AXRD Theta-Theta is an affordable platform for non-ambient x-ray diffraction (XRD) experiments in a compact system. With minimal facility requirements, integrated chilling, and numerous options for optics, environmental cells, and detectors, the AXRD Theta-Theta can be configured to suit a wide range of applications. The 1200-Watt AXRD Theta-Theta measures just 100 cm wide, 61 cm deep, and 171 cm tall, allowing you to bring non-ambient powder diffraction to your lab in a compact, cost-effective unit.

If lengthy temperature experiments often cause your primary diffractometer to be unavailable for routine powder analysis, the AXRD Theta-Theta offers a convenient solution. While you run routine experiments on your main diffractometer, you can set up non-ambient experiments on your own dedicated unit without the need for extensive space requirements.

The AXRD Theta-Theta can be equipped with many of the standard optics that are found in full-sized units, such as an auto-divergence slit, an auto-adjust knife-edge, and a basic glancing incidence diffraction (GID) package consisting of a parallel beam optic with an elongated Soller slit. The Theta-Theta really shines in its capabilities as a non-ambient experimental platform; it can also be configured with a large selection of environmental chambers for more advanced XRD experiments. Proto is proud to offer a wide range of temperature stages from Anton Paar:

Table 1.

Temperature Stage Photograph Temperature Range/Limit
BTS 150/500 up to 150/500 °C (respectively)
TTK 600 -190° to 600 °C
XRK 900 up to 900 °C
HTK 1200N up to 1200 °C
HTK 16N up to 1600 °C
HTK 2000N up to 2300 °C


Along with the Anton Paar stages listed above, the AXRD Theta-Theta is compatible with many Oxford temperature stages. If you are interested in a particular temperature stage, feel free to ask Proto about integration into the Theta-Theta system.

For users who want the advanced capabilities of a large laboratory system in a smaller footprint and price point, the AXRD Theta-Theta will allow you to optimize your powder diffraction experiments. For more information about options and customization, contact a member of the Proto sales team.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Proto.

For more information on this source, please visit Proto.


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