An in situ reaction cell for x-ray diffraction studies
21 May 2013
The In-Situ XRD cell was invented by Prof Michael Claeys (Department of Chemical Engineering) and his now graduate student Dr Nico Fischer. The cell is a cutting-edge research tool and can be retrofitted to existing X-ray diffractometers or synchrotrons to enable materials such as catalysts to be studied at elevated temperatures and pressures, in changeable gaseous or liquid environments.
The newly designed in-situ cell uses a capillary as the reaction vessel that can be mounted on any commercial X-ray diffractometer. The construction and design overcome a number of shortcomings that restrict the use of current commercial systems. These include a novel 'compression fitting' which makes inserting fragile glass capillary tubes considerably easier. This fitting greatly reduces the incidence of breakage and allows the units to be finger-tightened, bypassing the need for additional tools. The in-situ cell minimises dead volume and the possibility of co-feeding vapours such as water.
The XRD Cell, only just having entered PCT stage, has already gained traction with respect to orders and will be manufactured by an “emerging spin-off company” that is currently being incubated within UCT and is focused on producing Catalysis Test Units. Contact Prof ClaeysMichael.Claeys@uct.ac.za for quotes if you would like to purchase a unit.