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X-ray diffraction markets and applications for ARL EQUINOX Series

3262 views - 2017-07-12 14:03:16

This product bulletin presents a summary of key target markets and applications that we have been successfully selling in the past 18 months with our newly acquired ARL EQUINOX XRD portfolio. In addition, this bulletin also highlights XRD applications in various areas of structural analysis of materials with the corresponding value proposition of ARL EQUINOX XRD technology.


RL EQUINOX 100 / 1000 / 3000 / 5000 / 6000


I. Markets and applications: where and why wins with the current products


Mid-level colleges/universities teaching XRD

  • Bench-top XRDs preferred – ARL EQUINOX 100/1000 with pre- aligned optics and no-maintenance
  • Uniquely available attachments on a bench-top to do different XRD experiments on materials (thin films, powders…)

Advanced Materials Research Centers

  • ARL EQUINOX 5000/6000 offering real-time structural analysis (texture/stress/temperature changes)
  • Highly flexible/configurable high-end systems


Pharma/consumer products

  • Fast data acquisition in real time with full XRD pattern
  • For rapid qualitative screening of polymorphic phases, crystallinity and impurities
  • Dynamic studies and structural changes
  • Unique Transmission or Reflection Mode XRD with the bench-top XRD capillary stage
  • Low cost of ownership for small pharma firms or as a back-up in R&D lab


Geology/mining - field based applications


  • Compact bench-top XRD with rugged design
  • No motorization/movable parts
  • No external peripheral dependence (no water/no gas/compressed air) for ARL EQUINOX 100
  • Fast installation and operational availability
  • Low cost of ownership for redundancy in the field


II. XRD applications for materials and structural analysis and our value proposition with ARL EQUINOX Series

1.  Structural phase transitions of materials and dynamic studies

When materials are subject to changes in temperature, pressure, humidity and reactive environment, structural changes can occur (Phase Transitions). XRD studies are most commonly done on such materials as a function of time and parameter changes. Such in-situ XRD measurements require an optional chamber or a cell (in which the sample can be heated, cooled, subject to pressure, humidity or reactive gases). On a conventional XRD (with a scanning goniometer), such measurements need long measurement times.

Our Real-Time Curved Position Sensitive Detector (CPS) offers unique advantage to perform such dynamic studies – saving measurement times, increasing the productivity in the lab and throughput capacity of a given XRD instrument. Full XRD scan is obtained in few seconds at each step change of the parameter and vital structural information is recorded in real time.


2. Thin films, coatings and X-ray reflectometry

Thin films and coatings on substrates are structurally characterized by XRD and with the fast acquisition of our detector, our Equinox series can process more thin film and coating samples than comparable products in the market. In particular, the turnaround time in the process for optimization of thickness of the films, its density and the structural nature is critical and our CPS detector technology in ARL EQUINOX 3000, ARL EQUINOX 5000 and ARL EQUINOX 6000 are highly recommended for such applications. Coatings on glasses (amorphous versus crystalline part), semiconductors and metals are typical applications.

For routine QC/QA type control of thin films and coatings, ARL EQUINOX 100 or ARL EQUINOX 1000 models are the only bench-top XRD solutions that provide cost effective and unique solutions


3. Structural mapping of heterogeneous bulk materials

XRD is ideally suited for mapping structural details of heterogeneous materials. Since these measurements are time consuming on a conventional (standard XRD), Equinox technology enables the customers to be more productive and flexible.

Our CPS detector and a translation table stage offers significant advantage in acquiring high resolution data much faster. In particular, ARL EQUINOX 5000 model with appropriate sample translation stage and collimation is recommended. It’s also possible with an ARL EQUINOX 6000 to make stress, texture and mapping / micro-diffration applications- all with one platform.


4. Pharmaceuticals

Many pharmaceutical research centers use XRD to characterize new drugs: from powder, emulsion or tablets. XRD helps to determine different crystalline forms of the same chemical formulation, to detect impurity phases and to investigate stability of the formulation or final product under different environmental conditions. XRD also enables the measurement of crystalline versus amorphous (non- crystalline) content of the pharmaceutical product leading to the formulation of bioavailability of the medical product. Finally, XRD (along with other molecular techniques) is used to detect counterfeit drugs versus genuine ones.

Most of the production (QC/QA) and accredited labs may demand 21CFR11 compliancy but it is not always required for investigative work or when XRD is used for cross-checking the data from other techniques.

ARL EQUINOX 100 is the only bench-top XRD in the market which can handle small quantities of pharmaceutical product in a capillary tube to do routine analysis. It is also the only XRD instrument in the bench-top category that can perform Transmission mode measurements as well as Reflection mode measurements. Transmission stage XRD is preferred for organic materials such as pharmaceuticals. ARL EQUINOX 100 is best suited for well-defined routine measurements in a simple and cost effective manner.

ARL EQUINOX 3500 is a more flexible high resolution XRD for research studies as well as advanced measurements on new pharmaceutical compounds.


5. Cosmetics industry

Cosmetics industry uses several compounds in the manufacturing process as raw materials or additives for specific properties. XRD is used to isolate desirable/permitted compounds from unwanted phases. Unlike Pharmaceuticals, Cosmetics industry is not regulated for FDA type compliancy, there are increasing demands to identify counterfeit cosmetics versus originals and also declare the compounds used in the process for their toxicity and other side effects.

ARL EQUINOX 100 is best suited for this industry for simple, routine and well defined usage on powders or liquids.


6. Stress measurement

XRD is used to measure Residual Stress , mostly in metallic samples.XRD được sử dụng để đo ứng suất dư, chủ yếu là trong các mẫu kim loại.

ARL EQUINOX 5000 or ARL EQUINOX 6000 is most suited for such applications thanks to its speed, flexibility and high resolution.


7. Texture measurement

XRD is a preferred technique to study structural orientations (called texture) in materials such as bulk phase metals, ceramics and organic samples. These studies require large number of measurements which demand long analysis times and almost a dedicated XRD instrument.

The CPS detector is a real advantage to perform such a dynamic studies. ARL EQUINOX 5000 or ARL EQUINOX 6000 is best suited for these measurements with high resolution detector.

If both Texture and Stress analysis are required on the same sample, ARL EQUINOX 6000 is the only product which can handle the combination of texture and stress measurements.


8. Cement, ceramics, minerals and other inorganic compounds

XRD is routinely used in many inorganic materials processing industries (cement, minerals, pigments etc..) and these are generally well defined list of phases/compounds for routine quantification.

 ARL EQUINOX 100 / ARL EQUINOX 1000 offer the most economical solution for production sites while ARL EQUINOX 3500 would be most suited for the technical centers.ARL EQUINOX 100 / ARL .Cement norms: ASTM C 1365 01/2006,Ceramic norms: NF EN 12698-2 April 2008, ASTM D 5758 January JIS H 7805 March 2005. Pigments norms: ASTM D 3720 01/1990, ASTM D 5380 01/1993 .

9. Environment related analytical labs

There is an increasing demand to identify toxic or hazardous compounds in air pollutants or soil contamination related samples (for example: silica or asbestos identification). Also, some of these samples are fine particles (tiny quantities) and they will require special sample stages to handle.

ARL EQUINOX 100 or ARL EQUINOX 1000 are the only bench-top XRDs which can handle small quantities and nanoparticles of material.

Norms: ASTM D 4926, PR NF ISO 16258-1 January 2014, PR NF ISO 16258-2 January 2014, NF X43- 295 June 1995, ASTM D 934 January 2013.


10. Metallurgy

Metals are analyzed by XRD for typical phase identification and quantification like austenite. In addition, phase transitions at high temperatures, corrosion characteristics and coatings of metals are also measured using X-ray diffraction.

ARL EQUINOX 100 and ARL EQUINOX 1000 with cobalt tube are suited for routine measurements on austenite type phase quantification in process control

ARL EQUINOX 3000 / ARL EQUINOX 5000 / ARL EQUINOX 6000 are needed for more advanced measurements in central research labs on metals (for high temperature, grazing angle diffraction, coatings, stress and texture).

Metals norms: SAE HS 784 February 2003, ASTM E 2860 January 2012, BS EN 15305:2008.

September 2008, DIN EN 15305 January 2009, NF EN 15305 April 2009, ASTM E 915 January 2010, ASTM E 1426 January 1998.

11. Energy research, devices, surface coatings and thin films

The efficiency and stability of photosensitive panels and other materials used in energy devices (coatings, thin films and storage material) critically depend on their structure. XRD is capable of providing such structural information to ensure quality, stability and suitability of materials for these applications .

Bench-top ARL EQUINOX 100 / ARL EQUINOX 1000 for simple and routine measurements and ARL EQUINOX 3500 for more advanced investigations.

Norms: ASTM D 5187 01/2010, ISO 20203:2005 10/2005, BS ISO 20203:2005 January 2006.

12. Central labs/contract Labs : forensic/archeology/customs

XRD is a powerful tool to identify specific and suspected compounds or phases to determine the authenticity of a material in the forensic labs or archeological investigations or customs verification .

ARL EQUINOX 100 is the best suited instrument for majority of these labs.

ARL EQUINOX 3000 could be used for more flexibility if the samples from archeology demand.

13. GIXRD (Glancing Incidence XRD) for electronics, biology, geology, academic research and plastics 

There are a number of areas of materials used in electronics industry (layers/thin films), biology (organic materials), prosthetics and plastics (implants), geological (rocks, clays) etc. which require GIXRD measurements.

ARL EQUINOX 100 / ARL EQUINOX 1000 can be the most cost effective solution for simple applications.

Electronics norms: ISO 16413:2013 02/2013, ISO/IEC TC 201/SC N325.

Prosthetics and implants norms: NF ISO13779-3, BS ISO 13779-3:2008 June 2009, ASTM F 2024 January 2010.


Should you need further information or advice, please do not hesitate to contact:

Redstar Vietnam Co., ltd

Hotline: 091 5567 885; Email:



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