Optimizing high-pressure pair distribution function measurements in diamond anvil cells

KW Chapman, PJ Chupas, GJ Halder, Joseph Hriljac, C Kurtz, BK Greve, CJ Ruschman, AP Wilkinson

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27 Citations (Scopus)


Pair distribution function (PDF) methods have great potential for the study of diverse high-pressure phenomena. However, the measurement of high-quality, high-resolution X-ray PDF data (to Q(max) > 20 angstrom(-1)) remains a technical challenge. An optimized approach to measuring high-pressure total scattering data for samples contained within a diamond anvil cell (DAC) is presented here. This method takes into account the coupled influences of instrument parameters (photon energy, detector type and positioning, beam size/shape, focusing), pressure-cell parameters (target pressure range, DAC type, diamonds, pressure-transmitting media, backing plates, pressure calibration) and data reduction on the resulting PDF. The efficacy of our approach is demonstrated by the high-quality, high-pressure PDFs obtained for representative materials spanning strongly and weakly scattering systems, and crystalline and amorphous samples. These are the highest-resolution high-pressure PDFs reported to date and include those for alpha-alumina (to Q(max) = 20 angstrom(-1)), BaTiO3 (to Q(max) = 30 angstrom(-1)) and pressure-amorphized zeolite (to Q(max) = 20 angstrom(-1)).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-307
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Applied Crystallography
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2010


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