X-ray diffraction

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X-ray diffraction is a technique used to investigate the structure of molecules/minerals based on their diffraction pattern[1]. X-ray diffraction relies on the dual wave-particle properties of x-rays to assess the amount of diffraction of an incident beam due to the atomic structure of the analysed molecule[2]. The geometric deviation/diffraction of the x-ray beam if governed by Bragg's Law with the equation: nλ = 2d sin (theta) where λ is the wavelength of the x-ray, d is the distance between two adjacent planes and theta is the angle of the incident beam from the horizontal (angle between the x-ray beam and the surface plane of the analysed molecule).

One major use of X-ray diffraction was the discovery of the structure of DNA by Watson and Crick.


  1. https://www.xos.com/XRD [accessed 30/11/17]
  2. Basics of X-ray Diffraction Hyperfine Interactions, 2004, Volume 154, Number 1-4, Page 107 H. Stanjek, W. Häusler
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