Various types of detectors have previously been used in X-ray diffractometers(1). Scintillation counters (SC) have been used as zero-dimensional (0D) detectors, position-sensitive proportional counters (PSPC) and semiconductor detectors as one-dimensional (1D) detectors, and devices such as imaging plates (IP) and CCD detectors as two-dimensional (2D) detectors. IP and CCD detectors are 2D detectors still in use today, but they have problems such as slow read-out speed and narrow dynamic range, and thus their applications are limited. The HyPix-3000(2) hybrid multi-dimensional pixel detector is a 2D detector with the following features not available with IP or CCD detectors.
- Wide dynamic range
- Measurement with low background
- High-speed measurement with zero dead time
Due to the wide dynamic range, the HyPix-3000 works advantageously in cases, such as thin-film samples, where there is a need to simultaneously measure faint diffraction peaks from the film, and strong diffraction peaks from a single-crystal substrate. Since energy resolution is high, low-background measurement is possible even with samples in which the background rises due to production of fluorescent X-rays, and it is possible to acquire measurement data with an outstanding S/N ratio. In addition, the HyPix-3000 can achieve essentially zero dead time (time loss) for data read-out. By achieving this high-speed measurement with zero dead time, it is possible to carry out continuous time-slice measurement via shutterless mode operation. For example, even in in-situ measurement involving heating, it is possible to conduct measurement which follows the sample’s response such as transformation of crystal structure. Another feature of the HyPix-3000 is that it can be used without any need for troublesome maintenance such as the gas replacement required for gas detectors or the maintenance for the cooling equipment needed by CCD detectors.
In addition, by installing the HyPix-3000 in the SmartLab intelligent X-ray diffraction system, it can be used not only as a 2D detector, but also as a 0D and 1D detector. Therefore, there is no need to individually prepare each type of detector, as was done before, and go through the troublesome process of moving the sample to different detectors to suit the application. For this reason, a combined SmartLab-HyPix-3000 system (Fig. 1) can be used to measure a variety of samples, including powders, thin films and bulk samples. In addition, various measurement methods can be used to evaluate these samples, such as 2θ/θ measurement, and pole figure measurement employing a 2D detector. This paper introduces examples of measuring powder, single-crystal, bulk and thin-film samples by actually using this system.