R-AXIS IV++ Detector with FR-E SuperBright™ Source to be Used for Ultra High Pressure Research

Advanced Materials XRD Sold to Los Alamos National Laboratory

The Woodlands, TX — August 12, 2005. Rigaku today announced the sale of a custom engineered advanced materials X-ray diffraction system to Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). The system, consisting of a specialized, ultra high-precision sample stage, the world brightest laboratory X-ray source—the Rigaku FR-E SuperBright™ with VariMax™ optic—and Rigaku R-AXIS IV++ low noise imaging plate detector system, will be used in conjunction with a LANL diamond anvil cell (DAC) to examine the behavior of materials under extreme pressure.

Charged with stewardship of the United States nuclear stockpile, LANL researchers will be using the Rigaku system with their DAC to study the behavior of both metals (mainly lanthanides and actinides) and powders under extremes of temperature and pressure. Pressures within the DAC can approach 350 GPa (1 GPa ≈ 10,000 atmospheres), pressure equal to that at the center of the Earth. DAC capabilities are particularly important for LANL physicists now that the United States is no longer conducting nuclear tests. The safety and reliability of nuclear weapons must now be maintained with indirect experimental techniques and large-scale computations. In particular, the DAC enables direct measurements of changes in volume and density, as a function of changes in a material's crystal structure and of melting under high pressure, that strongly influence the hydrodynamic stability of imploding systems. Thus, the Rigaku advanced materials X-ray Diffractometer system, with the DAC, can provide some of the data required to accurately predict the performance of nuclear materials.

The Rigaku system offers a variety of benefits relative to competing systems, or the use of a synchrotron, to collect the needed data. First and foremost is that a laboratory system, like the advanced materials XRD, offers a degree of experimental flexibility that is largely unavailable at a synchrotron due to their typical time limit constraints. Having a home lab XRD/DAC system means that experiments can be conducted on the researcher's schedule without concern for either contamination of third-party facilities or restrictions associated with shipping restricted materials to, or using restricted materials at, a synchrotron beamline. In addition, there were more options available to achieve very high DAC temperatures within the LANL home laboratory environment.

Other factors influencing the decision to choose the advanced materials XRD included the availability of the highest-flux commercially available laboratory X-ray source and a very low-noise detector system. The FR-E SuperBright microfocus rotating anode generator was specially configured with a Mo-anode and VariMax optic to provide a monochromatic 17.4 KeV X-ray beam that was suitable for use with LANL's DAC. A customized XYZ-stage, specifically designed to accept the LANL DAC assemble, was supplied for easy alignment to the very small sample sizes employed for this type of work (typically 50 to 150 μm diameter). Finally, the R-AXIS IV++ imaging plate detector was specified because, unlike CCD detectors, the dark noise does not increase as a function of time, enabling very long data acquisitions.

In conjunction with Los Alamos National Laboratory, the advanced materials XRD was made possible by Rigaku's custom engineering group based in The Woodlands, Texas. A team of scientists and engineers, under the direction of Mr. Keith Crane, Senior Vice President of Operations, is tasked with the creation of novel and customized solutions that are not otherwise commercially available. Custom engineering of complex X-ray systems, together with expertise in high-throughput automation and cryogenics, serve to differentiate Rigaku from other vendors of analytical X-ray instrumentation.

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