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The University of Southampton

Research project: Mark Light: Non-crystalline diffraction - Elucidating local structure of functional materials.

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Bragg peaks contain average crystal structure information, but it is the diffuse scattering underneath these that holds information pertaining to the local structure.

Long-range order can be determined routinely to a high degree of accuracy by analysing the discrete Bragg peak positions and intensities. However, short-range order information, such as defect geometry, is contained in the diffuse scattering intensity. This local structure is critical to the efficacy of many modern materials and devices, such as catalysts, battery materials, magnetic materials and some molecular solids etc.

This project studies functional materials characterised by aperiodic deviations from the long-range crystallographic order. The primary technique is PDF (Pair Distribution Function) analysis, which provides the distribution of atomic distances within a material (amorphous or crystalline). Fundamental to the technique is the ability to collect scattering data to a sufficiently high angle and this project will make use of a modified in-house diffraction system.

Total scattering data from LaB6, collected on a 2D detector and converted to the pair distribution function.
Total scattering data and PDF for LaB6

Dan Irving (Research Project)

Dr Mark Light (P.I.)

Dr Darren Bradshaw (Co.I.)

Related research groups

Characterisation and Analytics
Functional Inorganic, Materials and Supramolecular Chemistry
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