How does X-ray Diffraction (XRD) technology work?

In the XRD technique a sample is placed in the X-Ray Diffration analyzer and is gradually rotated while being bombarded with X-rays, producing a diffraction pattern. About 95% of all solid materials can be described as crystalline. When X-rays interact with a crystalline substance (Phase), one gets a diffraction pattern. Every crystalline substance gives a pattern; the same substance always gives the same pattern; and in a mixture of substances each produces its pattern independently of the others. The X-ray diffraction pattern of a pure substance is, therefore, like a fingerprint of the substance. The powder diffraction method is thus ideally suited for characterization and identification of phases or material analysis. Today thousands of diffraction patterns have been collected and stored in data base libraries. The main use of powder diffraction is to identify components in a sample by a search/match procedure. This new line of instruments offers performance comparable to laboratory X-Ray Diffration systems with the benefit of portability, significantly reduced sample preparation and reduced cost.