Chapter

X-ray and neutron sources

William Clegg

in Crystal Structure Analysis

Second edition

Published in print June 2009 | ISBN: 9780199219469
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191722516 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199219469.003.0022

Series: International Union of Crystallography Texts on Crystallography

X-ray and neutron sources

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Crystal structure determination by diffraction uses X-rays or neutrons. X-rays are readily available in laboratories from a standard X-ray tube, in which electron kinetic energy is converted to X-rays by interaction with core electrons of a metal target, giving particular characteristic wavelengths (and much wasted heat). Enhancements of the basic X-ray tube include rotating anodes and microfocus tubes, and the extracted X-rays can be concentrated somewhat by modern optics methods. Far higher X-ray intensities, together with other special properties, are obtained from synchrotron storage rings, which are large-scale national and international facilities; some of the properties are described, and an account given of applications. Neutrons are available from nuclear reactors and spallation sources, in monochromatic or pulsed polychromatic modes. Some advantages and disadvantages of neutrons, compared with X-rays, are described, resulting from their different interaction with samples.

Keywords: X-rays; X-ray tubes; rotating anode; microfocus tubes; synchrotron; storage ring; neutrons; wavelength

Chapter.  4207 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Crystallography

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