Coursebooks 2017-2018


Principles and Applications of X-ray Diffraction


Lecturer(s) :

Schouwink Pascal Alexander




Every year


Next time: Winter 2017/Spring 2018 (EPF Lausanne/Sion)


Basic theoretical aspects of Crystallography and the interaction between X-ray radiation and matter. Experimental aspects of materials-oriented powder and single crystal diffraction. Familiarization with modern X-ray diffractometers.


The course will consist of various modules. Students will be introduced to the fundamentals of Crystallography (symmetry, groups, lattice theory) and the basic theoretical aspects of X-ray diffraction (Generation of X-rays, interaction with matter, principles of interference functions and diffraction, scattering of periodic arrays, fourier transform and structure factors).

The basic theoretical aspects of structure solution will be taught (phase problem, reciprocal and direct space methods, absolute structure, twinning) as well as of structure refinement, with a focus on the theory of Rietveld refinement on powders.

Basic experimental aspects will be taught for single crystal, powder and thin film X-ray diffraction (Anomalous dispersion, Debye-Scherrer and Bragg-Brentano measurements, grazing incidence diffraction, in-plane diffraction) aiming at providing a solid knowledge on a large spectrum of methods relevant to diffraction studies on materials.

Students will be familiarized with different modern X-ray diffractometers, instrumental optics and experiment strategies.

This course is open both to PhD students and PostDocs, passing the oral exam will give PhD students 2 ECTS credits.


The course will comprise a large theoretical part given in Lausanne, data analysis exercises in Lausanne, and practical exercises on the ISIC diffractometers in Lausanne and/or Sion.


XRD, Powder diffraction Materials

Learning Prerequisites

Required courses

No particular prequisites, notions of very basic concepts of scattering and the solid state (inorganic materials) would be advantageous.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, the student must be able to:

In the programs

Reference week

      Exercise, TP
      Project, other


  • Autumn semester
  • Winter sessions
  • Spring semester
  • Summer sessions
  • Lecture in French
  • Lecture in English
  • Lecture in German