High Flux XRD to Help UNSW Researchers Remain at the Forefront

AXT is pleased to announce the sale of a 9kW Rigaku SmartLab X-ray Diffractometer to the University of New South Wales. The SmartLab is the leading diffractometer for high end research combining class-leading high intensity X-ray flux with a host of intelligent features that provide analytical power and versatility that are unmatched.

High flux XRD - 9kW Rigaku SmartLab thin film.
High flux XRD – 9kW Rigaku SmartLab thin film.

The Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre will be the home for the SmartLab installation. This serves as a central analytical facility that brings together a vast array of measurement and characterization equipment that enable researchers to carry out detailed analyses of their samples and has been key to numerous scientific breakthroughs.

UNSW have ordered the SmartLab TF (thin film variant) that incorporates Rigaku’s patented in-plane arm making it the ideal solution for characterising thin films and coatings. This innovation allows a host of coating measurements to be taken quickly, providing more detail in less time about the structure, orientation, morphology and composition of thin films. As such it will be invaluable to researchers involved in fields including solar cells, semiconductors, optoelectronics and biomaterials.

The 9kW Smartlab is powered by rotating anode technology that was pioneered by Rigaku. This results in the highest X-ray flux of any homelab instrument allowing faster higher sample throughput and the best chance of detecting trace phases. Add in other key features such as auto alignment, user-friendly guidance software, a host of optically encoded attachments that can be added down the track to suit a variety of measurement modes and the ability to also measure powders, and the SmartLab is also arguably the most versatile diffractometer on the market.

The Smartlab will be the 7th diffractometer to be installed in the Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre XRD Lab since its establishment in 2007. The lab is heavily used clocking up in excess of 31,000 hours of X-ray time in 2016. This included training of over 150 researchers from areas such as materials science – particularly photovoltaics research, as well as chemistry, geology, chemical and petroleum engineering and physics.

Dr. Chris Marjo, Head, Solid State and Elemental Analysis Unit said of the new acquisition, “The Smartlab was the best tool to enable high-throughput analysis of novel multilayer and epitaxial thin-films designed for photovoltaics, electromechanical ferroelectrics and spintronics. Its unique thin film analytical prowess provides additional valuable capabilities to our facility. The new instrument will provide structural data that will also complement our surface chemical analysis using photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS, UPS) and mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS).”

Speaking on behalf of AXT, Managing Director, Richard Trett commented, “The SmartLab diffractometer stands out from the crowd in terms of performance, analytical ability and versatility giving owners an unfair advantage. Given the life of these instruments, the Smartlab is the most futureproof solution available and we are sure that it will help UNSW researchers remain at the forefront and they will realise its benefits once it has been installed.”

AXT is Rigaku’s distributor in Australia and New Zealand. Diffractometers are part of AXT’s vast portfolio of scientific instruments sourced from all over the world.