Single-crystal diffractometer coming to UQ

AXT Pty Ltd

Thursday, 23 November, 2017


Analytical instrumentation provider AXT will soon be installing a Synergy-S single-crystal X-ray diffraction system at The University of Queensland (UQ). The system has been manufactured by Rigaku Oxford Diffraction (ROD), a leader in the field of single-crystal and small-molecule diffractometers.

The system specified by UQ combines a dual-wavelength source (molybdenum and silver) and the PILATUS CdTe detector. The detector offers shutterless operation and a fast 20 Hz sampling rate while providing good dynamic range and sensitivity. The system also features PhotonJet-S X-ray sources, which deliver high-intensity flux to a small focal point, and a simple, air-cooled design.

UQ’s acquisition of the instrument was funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC) through its Linkage, Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) program. Associate Professor Jack Clegg, the lead chief investigator on the ARC LIEF grant application, was the one who chose the Synergy-S system.

“The system satisfied all our performance requirements,” Associate Professor Clegg said. “The dual-wavelength configuration will allow us to carry out high-resolution studies and probe changes in charge density. The large enclosure offers us the flexibility to house lasers and other ancillary devices also allowing high-pressure diamond anvil experiments in situ.

“Furthermore, with the ability to integrate N-Helix, we can carry out studies all the way down to 30K (-243°C). With this system we will be able to perform anything from basic single-crystal experiments, all the way up to detailed structural analysis of complex metal-organic compounds as well as unique photocrystallography experiments.”

Associate Professor Clegg said the internally housed lasers will permit dynamic studies to be carried out, which will provide a deeper understanding of how changes occur and accelerate research outcomes through direct observations as opposed to inferred results. He added that the user-friendly software would enable novice users to easily produce publication-quality data. The system will thus enable researchers to become less reliant on the synchrotron, which will also help them to prove hypotheses more quickly.

While the instrument will be utilised by researchers from UQ, Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC), it is expected that its configuration and capabilities will attract users and collaborators from across Australia and around the world. Interest is also expected from areas such as the power industry, which deals with sulfide build-up in transformers, and the mining industry, which is interested in the structure of minerals.

Image caption: The Rigaku Oxford Diffraction Synergy-S single-crystal diffractometer with the PILATUS 300K CdTe detector.

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