Time-of-flight neutron powder diffraction with a thick-walled sample cell
The time-of-flight diffraction techniques that are normally practiced at pulsed neutron sources afford opportunities that are not readily available at continuous fixed-wavelength sources. The present work concerns the increasing trend in materials science to study samples in complex non-ambient environments, such as high gas pressure. Taking the example of a sample cell in which a material is studied under fluid pressure, the optimization of the cell design for best data collection rate is considered. The design of primary- and scattered-beam masks for eliminating background scattering from the sample cell and the correction of the data for cell and sample attenuation are addressed. The outputs of this work include a simple expression for the optimum wall thickness of a thick-walled sample cell, a procedure for accurately determining the required mask aperture width for any scattering angle, more compact expressions for some of the results of the work of Paalman & Pings [J. Appl. Phys. (1962), 33, 2635-2639] on absorption corrections, and guidance as to the correction of diffraction profiles for cell and background effects. Examples are given, drawn from studies of materials under hydrogen gas pressures up to 1800ࢡr in cells constructed from Ti2.1Zr and Inconel.
Journal of Applied Crystallography