X-ray Diffraction

X-ray diffraction beamline at Elettra Sincrotrone Trieste

X-ray diffraction is a tool used for identifying the atomic and molecular structure of a crystal, in which the crystalline atoms cause a beam of incident X-rays to diffract into many specific directions. By measuring the angles and intensities of these diffracted beams, a crystallographer can produce a three-dimensional picture of the density of electrons within the crystal. From this electron density, the mean positions of the atoms in the crystal can be determined, as well as their chemical bonds, their disorder and various other information relating to different materials, especially minerals and alloys. Furthermore, the method also reveals the structure and function of many biological molecules, including vitamins, drugs, proteins and nucleic acids, such as DNA.

Contact: Maurizio Polentarutti
Tel: +39 040 375 8084 (office) | +39 040 375 8355 (beamline)

Technical specifications

The light source is a multipole wiggler with a useful range from 4 to 21 keV. The optics consist of a vertical collimating mirror, a double-crystal Si(111) monochromator followed by a bendable focusing mirror. The multipole wiggler spectrum includes high photon flux at low energies, allowing the optimization of the anomalous signal of several heavy atoms (up to the calcium edge) and offering the enhancement of the sulfur anomalous signal.

Sample environment

The experimental setup consists of a Huber goniometer with k geometry and is fully controllable from remote. The beamline hosts small molecules, protein crystallography, powder diffraction, high pressure physics and solid-state experiments.

Detailed information can be found on the beamline’s main homepage.