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School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences

X-ray diffraction facility

The X-ray Diffraction Facility (XDF) offers a full diffraction analysis service in materials science, structural chemistry, structural biology and solid state science.

The facility is located in the Francis Bancroft building (room G.30) at the Mile End campus, and is shared with the Materials Research Institute

For further information, please visit the XDF website.

Small molecule diffraction

KAPPA APEX ii DUO diffractometer

KAPPA APEX ii DUO diffractometer

The new KAPPA APEX ii DUO diffractometer with dual Cu and Mo sources and APEX ii CCD area detector is capable of collecting excellent data for small molecule and protein single crystals.

An Oxford cryostream provides temperature control to –190°C and a diamond anvil cell allows diffraction experiments to be carried out at high pressures (GPa).

The molybdenum sealed tube sources with curved monochromator (Triumph) is for high throughput and charge density measurement, while the low powered air-cooled Copper IμS microfocus tube with doubly curved crystal optic is an excellent source for absolute configuration and protein screening.

Protein crystallography

We use a Rigaku Rotating anode generator with a MAR345 Image Plate detector for protein crystallography.

Powder diffraction facilities

Our powder diffraction facilities include four powder diffractometers. 

PANalytical X’Pert Pro diffractometer

The PANalytical XPert Pro diffractometer

The PANalytical X’Pert Pro diffractometer operates in θ/θ geometry for reflection and transmission modes. The X’Pert Pro is equipped with an HTK16 high temperature stage (25 to 1600°C under vacuum or gas) and a texture cradle.


Siemens D5000 X-Ray Powder diffractometer

 Siemens D5000 X-Ray Powder diffractometer

The Siemens D5000 X-Ray Powder diffractometer operates in θ/2θ geometry for both reflection and transmission and has a grazing incidence setup for thin films or surface diffraction. This instrument is fitted with a Ge monochromator which allows high resolution patterns to be collected using monochromatic Cu-Ka1 radiation. This instrument is also fitted with an HTK-1200N high temperature camera.

PANalytical Cubix diffractometer

PANalytical Cubix diffractometer

The PANalytical Cubix diffractometer is a high throughput machine, allowing registered users to load multiple samples for standard data collections, with data being sent out electronically on completion of the run.


PANalytical Empyrean diiffractometer

PANalytical Empyrean diiffractometer

The PANalytical Empyrean diiffractometer is a specialist instrument for collecting pair distribution functions. Using Ag-Ka radiation data can be collected to high Q-values. The instrument uses θ/θ geometry, with samples mounted in capillaries.

Phase analyses can be rapidly performed using the ICDD PDF4 database and Highscore software.

Booking and charges

Before booking, please refer to our service level agreement [PDF 15KB] and complete an order form [DOC 672KB].

There are a range of charges for using these facilities, depending on your relationship to the school.

Charges for Queen Mary Staff

Charges for a simple small molecule structure is £80.00. Where the structure requires more resources than usual because of relatively large size, crystal fragility, or complex modelling of disorder is necessary there may be an additional fee which will be based on an assessment of the time needed to complete the structure and an hourly rate of £30/hour.

The powder diffraction service is run by the Centre for Materials Research and is free for all Queen Mary users.

Charges for External Users

Charges for a simple small molecule structure is £350-£500.

The powder diffraction service is run by the Centre for Materials Research and is charged at £40 per sample

Please contact us with regards to cost for your own individual needs.


For more information, contact Richard Whiteley at or visit the XDF website.

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