SmartLab®: Automatic Horizontal Sample Mount X-ray Diffractometer

New Rigaku SmartLab® XRD Introduced

Automatic Horizontal Sample Mount X-Ray Diffractometer

The Woodlands, TX — March 13, 2006. Rigaku is pleased to announce the introduction of the new SmartLab Automatic X-ray Diffractometer system at the 57th annual Pittsburgh Conference (Pittcon) held in the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Florida. The Rigaku SmartLab is the world's first X-ray diffractometer to offer the full range of X-ray diffraction measurements in one fully automated tool suitable for use by the non-specialist. Based on three recent patents, the instrument incorporates unique intelligent software and Cross Beam Optics that allows users, without any special expertise, to perform a variety of advanced measurements critical to materials research: from X-ray diffraction (XRD) to X-ray reflectivity (XRR) to small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS).

Underlying all advances in nano and materials science technology are scientific instruments used to perform the research to create new products. For key aspects of the engineering and manufacture of these materials, core enabling technologies involve X-ray diffraction and related techniques. Prior to the introduction of the Rigaku SmartLab, an expert user skill level was required to operate advanced X-ray diffraction equipment. This difficulty-of-use was a fundamental limiting factor in the development of key aspects of many technology initiatives.

Intelligent automation is at the heart of the new Rigaku SmartLab design. The Guidance™ software engine is used to automate all processes - from the setting and aligning the optics to sample measurements. This new intelligent software is programmed with various analysis techniques and know-how that make advanced measurements, such as film thickness, texture, and pore/particle size analyses, easy for all users. The Guidance software suggests the best optical configuration for each application, checks the hardware settings, and runs an automatic alignment. Thus, even novices to the XRD technique can successfully operate the Rigaku SmartLab.

Rigaku is the leading producer of rotating anode generators and Rigaku generators are known for reliability. For superior performance, the Rigaku SmartLab employs a new rotating anode X-ray generator that is specifically optimized for the optics and geometries, allowing it to achieve three times higher intensity than current products while cutting power consumption by 50% (from 18kW to 9kW). In addition, the world's first high-resolution horizontal sample mount geometry has the benefit of preventing either bending or bowing of the sample while handling samples up to 8" φ. Finally, the Rigaku SmartLab uses Rigaku's patented Cross Beam Optics (CBO) as the foundation of a fully automated flexible optical system. CBO allows the Rigaku SmartLab system to operate in both parallel beam and focusing geometries without reconfiguring the diffractometer system. Both system geometries are permanently mounted, simultaneously aligned, and user selectable. All other competitive X-ray diffraction systems require system reconfiguration when switching operation of the system between focusing and parallel beam geometries.

Rigaku—Leading With Innovation

Since its inception in Japan in 1951, Rigaku has been at the forefront of analytical and industrial instrumentation technology. Rigaku and its subsidiaries form a global group focused on life sciences and general purpose analytical instrumentation. With hundreds of major innovations to their credit, Rigaku companies are world leaders in the fields of small molecule and protein crystallography, X-ray spectrometry and diffraction, X-ray optics, as well as semiconductor metrology. Rigaku employs over 1,100 people in the manufacture and support of its analytical equipment. Its products are in use in more than 70 countries—supporting research, development, and quality assurance activities. Throughout the world, Rigaku continuously promotes partnerships, dialog, and innovation within the global scientific and industrial community.

For further information, contact:

Thomas F. McNulty
XRD Marketing Director
Rigaku Americas, Inc.
Tel: (281) 362-2300 x207
eMail: Thomas F. McNulty