Phase Transitions of Rubidium Nitrate Observed via Non ambient X ray Diffraction

The demand to study materials at elevated temperatures is growing in a number of industries. Non-ambient X-ray diffraction allows the investigation of materials in situ, revealing the underlying changes of the atomic structure as a function of temperature or other variables such as gas atmosphere, pressure, or relative humidity.


X-ray diffraction (XRD) is an experimental method that allows the investigation of different material properties such as qualitative and quantitative phase composition, (crystal) structure, stress, lattice parameters and more. Non-ambient or in-situ XRD allows the investigation of the same properties, but in a situation where the sample is exposed to an additional variable or even several additional variables. Therefore, by changing the external parameters, additional dimensions of information are added to the experiment. Commonly changed parameters include temperature, pressure, gas environment, relative humidity, or electric and magnetic fields.

Non-ambient XRD and the study of phase transitions are used over all types of application areas, e.g. to study the stability of pharmaceuticals, swelling due to humidity uptake in clays or building materials, annealing of all types of materials to alter their properties, phase diagrams, and much more.

For this application report, temperature-induced phase transitions of rubidium nitrate (RbNO3) are studied by heating the sample in air.

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