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Metallic chamber which holds the sample. Courtesy of Nuclear Physics Institute.

Usually in order to prepare the samples that are being examined in neutron diffraction it is needed large crystals rather small ones as the one needed for X-ray studies. This one of the main disadvantages of this instrument. Most experiments are carried out using a four-circle diffractometer. The main reason being is because several experiment are carried out using very low temperatures and in order to achieve a good spectra it is needed the He refrigerator. First, the crystal being analyzed is mounted on a quartz slide, which needs to be a couple millimeters in size. Then, it is inserted into the sample holder, which is chosen depending on the temperatures wanted to be reached. In addition, neutrons can also analyze powder samples and in order to prepare the sample for these they need to be completely rendered into very fine powders and then inserted into the quartz slide similarly to the crystal structures. The main concern with this method is that when samples are grounded into powders the structure of the sample being examined can be altered.


Neutron diffraction is a great technique used for complete characterization of molecules involving light elements and also very useful for the ones that have different isotopes in the structure. Due to the fact that neutrons interact with the nucleus of the atoms rather than with the outer electrons of the atoms such as X-rays, it leads to a more reliable data. In addition, due to the magnetic properties of the neutrons there can be characterized magnetic compounds due to the magnetic moment that neutrons develop. There are several disadvantages as well, one of the most critical is that there needs to be a good amount of sample in order to be analyzed by this technique. Also, great amounts of energy are needed to produce large amounts of neutrons. There are several powerful neutron sources that have been developed in order to conduct studies of largest molecules and a smaller quantity of sample. However, there is still the need of devices which can produce a great amount of flux to analyze more sophisticated samples. Neutron diffraction has been widely studied due to the fact that it works together with X-rays studies for the characterization of crystalline samples. The properties and advantages of this technique can greatly increased if some of the disadvantages are solved. For example, the study of molecules which exhibit some type of molecular force can be characterized. This will be because neutrons can precisely locate hydrogen atoms in a sample. Neutrons have gives a better answer to the chemical interactions that are present in every single molecule, whereas X-rays help to give an idea of the macromolecular structure of the samples being examined.


  • G. E. Bacon, Neutron Diffraction , Clarendon Press, Oxford (1975).
  • R. K. Crawford, SPIE , 1992, 1737 , 210.
  • B. D. Cullity, Elements of X-Ray Diffraction , 3 rd Edition, Prentice Hall, New Jersey (2001).
  • W. Marshall and S. W. Lovesey, Theory of thermal neutron scattering: the use of neutrons for the investigation of condensed matter , Clarendon Press, Oxford (1971).
  • D. P. Mitchel and P. N. Powers, Phys. Rev. , 1936, 50 , 486.
  • C. G. Shull and E. O. Wollan, Phys. Rev. , 1951, 81 , 527.

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
Privacy Information Security Software Version 1.1a
advantages of NAA
Sai Reply
how I can reaction of mercury?
Sham Reply

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