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Materials Science at Oregon State University

Pair Distribution Function Studies: The long and short of it.

Date: Thursday, Dec 4th
Presenter: Dr. Michelle Dolgos, OSU Chemistry


In many solid state materials a detailed knowledge of the crystallography leads to an adequate understanding of its physical properties. The most common technique used to study the structure of a material is to look at the Bragg scattering from powder diffraction. Complex modern materials, however, often do not conform to the simple periodic structural model that is assessed via Bragg diffraction. Still other important materials such as amorphous compounds do not crystallize at all, exhibiting only short-range order. Structure analysis of these complex materials requires an approach different from traditional diffraction techniques. Total scattering, also known as the Pair Distribution Function method (PDF), is highly useful because it can probe the long-, medium- and short-range ordering in materials. The technique is highly underutilized, but is an incredibly powerful tool for gaining an understanding of the structure-property relationships in complex materials. This talk will provide an overview of the technique and discuss specific examples relevant to the materials science community.