Product Briefing Outline: PANalytical has launched a multipurpose X-ray diffraction (XRD) tool dubbed Empyrean. Solar related applications for the Empyrean include depth profiling for phase identification, film thickness, thin film stress, and epitaxial composition and relaxation.
Problem: While today's research themes are nanomaterials, life sciences, and renewable energy, tomorrow's science may move in a totally different direction. The lifetime of a PANalytical diffractometer stretches further than the typical horizon of a single research program and for many scientists, an ability to accommodate change is a 'must-have' feature in their decision to invest in an XRD system.
Solution: For many users, powder samples are their primary interest, which the Empyrean system is claimed to deliver the highest accuracy and data quality. The system also provides for high-resolution epitaxy analysis and handles all common applications. Investigations into nanomaterials can also be performed: size and shape of crystalline domains within the material, and structural analysis of near amorphous materials are all possible. PDF (pair distribution function), SAXS (small angle X-ray scattering), with the ability to monitor the evolution of crystalline phases in situ with its unique slurry flow cell stage, are all possible. Finally, the internal structure of solid objects can be studied without having to be cut: the unique PIXcel(3D) detector can be used as a CT scanner allowing nondestructive analysis.
Applications: Depth profiling for phase identification, film thickness, thin film stress, and epitaxial composition and relaxation.
Platform: Every major element of Empyrean is new, according to the company, which include the X-ray source, the goniometer, new sample stages, the radiation enclosure, and the world's first 3D detection system, PIXcel(3D). The system can measure all sample types – from powders to thin films, from nanomaterials to 3D objects. Users can switch between application setups using PreFIX modules, with no compromise on the quality of diffraction data. Dedicated hardware, software and regulatory expertise incorporated in predefined programs, and a customizable desktop and batch sample capabilities help make advanced functions highly accessible.
Availability: July 2010 onwards.