X-ray Diffraction Lab

The X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) lab primarily supports geological, archeological, and geomicrobiological research and is for student training at the University of Georgia (UGA).

The current XRD system is a Bruker D8-Advance.  Research programs serviced by the XRD facility include: 1) Studies on the geologic record of climate change, 2) economic geology, 3) archeology, 4) geomicrobiology, 5) paleo- and modern ecology, and 6) continental dynamics. The facility also provides ancillary service to UGA researchers in chemistry, physics, food science, and pharmacy, as well as service to smaller regional geosciences departments with limited analytical resources. The system resides in a 37 m2 (400 ft2) room that also houses computers to support data analysis. Computers in the lab are equipped with a wide range of crystallographic software for pattern simulations (NEWMOD, CrystalDiffract, and Wildfire), cell refinements (Rietveld refinement), crystal structure presentation (CrystalMaker), and the ICDD PDF-2 data base.




Over the past 20 years, approximately 400 UGA students have received formal training or an introduction to XRD methodology for identification of earth materials, which is a skill-set in demand by industrial, governmental, and academic geosciences markets. The UGA Department of Geology also serves the public in the southeastern United States by performing outreach services for the identification of unknown materials and lab tours. On average we handle 50 such requests per year from citizens and teachers.