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Development and applications of X-ray Birefringence Imaging

Patterson, Rhian 2020. Development and applications of X-ray Birefringence Imaging. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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The new technique of X-ray Birefringence Imaging (XBI) is the focus of this thesis. The research reported includes an expansion of previous theoretical work, explorations of new materials and the extension of the XBI technique to study new absorption edges. The final chapter covers another research topic, specifically crystal structure determination from powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD) data. Chapter 1 provides an introduction to the interaction of electromagnetic waves with matter and the properties of matter that cause birefringence. Chapter 2 gives a detailed description of the different experimental technqiues used in this thesis, focusing first on the XBI experimental setup and giving an overview of previous XBI studies. This chapter also describes the methodology for crystal structure determination from PXRD experimental data. Chapter 3 gives an in-depth discussion of the theoretical basis of XBI, showing how XBI behavior can be predicted theoretically for materials of known structure. A model system is discussed to demonstrate the methodology. Chapter 4 includes XBI studies and XBI theoretical calculations of copper acetyl acetonate and hexabromobenzene which are both examples of bending crystals, i.e., they are mechanically deformable under certain conditions. Animated videos of the XBI images recorded during bending for these materials are included in the digital data. Chapter 5 focuses on XBI studies of 1,2,4,5-tetrabromobenzene (TBB), focusing on XBI studies of a phase transition in this material, and the differences in XBI results for single crystals and twinned crystals of TBB. Animated videos of the XBI images recorded during the phase transition for the TBB crystals are included in the digital data. Chapter 6 explores the expansion of the XBI technique to new X-ray absorption edges. Prior to the present work, all XBI studies have been carried out at the bromine K-edge. Included in this chapter are X-ray dichroism measurements at the sulphur, chromium, iron and copper K-edges. The most notable results are the XBI studies of CuBr2, carried out at both the bromine and copper K-edges. Chapter 7 discusses a research project involving structure determination from PXRD data, focusing on structure determination of a previously unidentified intermediate phase in the solid-state reaction from ammonium cyanate to urea.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Chemistry
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 1 March 2021
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2022 02:30

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