X-ray Diffraction Technology
Similar to electromagnetic radiation, the strength of an X-ray is inversely proportional to its wavelength, and X-rays, depending on the density of the target, can penetrate matter. X-rays can show bones because they have higher density, and thus more absorbance, than surrounding tissue. The electrons move at high velocity and strike the anode target, which causes the electrons to dislodge inner shell electrons. Consequently outer shell electrons jump to a lower energy shell that replaces the dislodged electrons. X rays are generated by these electron transitions. Short wavelength X-rays are injurious for our body. For instance, x-rays can cause permanent local damage or be beneficial (in controlled wavelengths) in operations such as treating a cancer patient. Gamma rays, on the other hand, are deadly; they strike the nucleus disturbing both protons and neutrons.
X-rays of longer wavelength are used for medical examination of our body to obtain an image of our bones structure. These can detect cracks in the bone and are not harmful.
The device that rotates the X-ray tube and the detector is known as a "goniometer." The goniometer tracks the angle (theta), and the detector placed at the other end records the intensity of X-rays emerging on the sample. The X-ray diffractometer has an X-ray tube, and it produces monochromatic X-rays which can be rotated at angles from 0º to 90o. The detector placed at the other end records the X-ray intensity in counts per second.
Diffraction pattern analysis is based on Bragg’s law
n.λ = 2d sin Θ
where λ (lambda) is the wavelength of the X-ray beam, d is the lattice parameter, and Θ (theta) is the diffraction angle. X-ray Fluorescence and Diffraction devices can analyze any substance precisely for its chemical composition and its crystal structure.