PANalytical’s new approach simplifies XRD analysis of X-ray transparent samples

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Almelo, the Netherlands, August 2004. Anticipating customer needs, PANalytical has extended the transmission capabilities of its X'Pert PRO MPD multi-purpose X-ray diffraction system to make the analysis of X-ray transparent samples, which include many pharmaceutical materials, easier and more flexible.

Conventionally, X-ray transparent samples are measured in glass capillaries, using parallel beam geometry. Under these conditions, achieving good angular resolution in the diffractogram requires the use of thin capillaries. This both lowers the diffracted intensity and makes sample preparation cumbersome. Switching to focusing transmission geometry can eliminate the influence of capillary diameter, but instruments that use this geometry are often restricted to analyzing only this type of sample.

PANalytical's new focusing transmission geometry employs a novel focusing X-ray mirror to overcome these limitations: angular resolution is high and independent of capillary diameter, allowing the use of thicker capillaries; sample preparation is simplified and relatively large sample volumes can be used, resulting in higher peak intensities. In addition, measurements are not restricted to powders in glass capillaries. A new sample spinner and specially designed sample holders enable the measurement of materials held between foils. This can be invaluable for products such as pressed pharmaceutical tablets.

The X'Pert PRO MPD is an ideal system for demanding environments where a variety of people with different samples are performing many types of analysis. PANalytical's PreFIX concept allows fast and accurate changing of optical modules and sample stages, so that the system can be easily reconfigured from a high-end system for the crystallographic researcher to a "work horse" for routine measurements. The new transmission geometry fits smoothly into this scheme.

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