Griffith University, April 2000
Crystallography at Griffith was established in the School of Science at the beginnings of the University in 1975 with the purchase of a Phillips stationary tube X-ray generator, powder cameras and single crystal Weissenberg cameras. The unavailability of four-circle diffractometer facilities in Queensland at that time meant that for single crystal structure determinations, crystals were sent to the University of Western Australia Crystallography Centre for data collection and structure determination. The combination of single crystal X-ray structural data and solid state NMR spectroscopy using the facilities of the Griffith University Magnetic Resonance Centre (Bruker CXP-300, Varian Unity-400) yielded fruitful results over a period of many years, particularly in the area of structure and molecular properties of transition metal phosphine complexes.
In 1995 a successful Mechanism C Research Infrastructure Grant, together with funding support from Griffith University and the Queensland University of Technology resulted in the purchase of a Rigaku AFC7 Rotating anode X-ray diffractometer and the MSC teXsan software package for structure solution. This equipment has been in operation since that time, providing single crystal structure support for small molecule systems for the organic and inorganic chemistry groups at both institutions.
In 1990 an upgrade to the X-ray powder facility was funded by NERDDC, for in situ studies of hydrogen-absorbing metals under hydrogen gas pressure. A reconditioned Philips powder diffractometer with solid-state counter and computer control were added to the generator. This equipment still serves for in-house powder diffraction studies.
Since 1989, neutron powder diffraction has been used to study hydrogen- and nitrogen-absorbing metals in situ under deuterium and nitrogen pressure. The facilities regularly used are MRPD and HRPD at ANSTO in Sydney, POLARIS and HRPD at ISIS in the United Kingdom and HRPT at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland.
Since 1995, increasing use has been made of synchrotron X-rays, first at the Photon Factory in Japan (BigDiff, BL20B), and more recently at the Advanced Photon Source in the USA (SRI-CAT, 1-ID and ChemMatCARS, 15-BM) and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in France (Swiss-Norwegian Beamline, BM-1B). The work at these facilities centres on in situ studies of hydrogen- and nitrogen-absorbing alloys for hydrogen storage and permanent magnets. The technique now used is transmission-mode diffraction with samples up to 1 mm thick in a pressure cell sealed with Be windows. Energies above 30 keV are used exclusively.
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