Micro X-ray diffraction analysis (µXRD) is a structural analysis technique which allows for the examination of very small sample areas. Like conventional XRD instrumentation, µXRD relies on the dual wave/particle nature of X-rays to obtain information about the structure of crystalline materials. Unlike conventional XRF, which has a typical spatial resolution ranging in diameter from several hundred micrometers up to several millimeters, µXRD uses X-ray optics to focus the excitation beam to a small spot on the sample surface so that small features on the sample can be analyzed.
Polycapillary focusing optics collect X-rays from the divergent X-ray source and direct them to a small focused beam at the sample surface with diameters as small as tens of micrometers. The resulting increased intensity delivered to the sample in a small focal spot allows for enhanced spatial resolution for small feature analysis and enhanced performance for diffraction measurement of small specimens. Unlike conventional XRD instrumentation which is bulky and has high power requirements, microdiffraction with high diffracted-beam intensity can be achieved with a very low-power source using these optics.