Powder diffraction: Access to Bragg reflections with d-spacings as low as 0.2 Å allows for the determination of precise crystal structure parameters, i.e. high resolution in direct space. Many science projects on Rotax use this advantage to study orientational disorder, determine cation distributions and localise light atoms in crystal structures. The instrument is suited for magnetic structure analysis taking advantage of the considerable flux at long wavelengths up to 5.2 Å. For magnetic structure work it is particular useful to have a wide d-spacing range available even if the magnetic intensities drop quickly at low d values. Structural changes accompanying the magnetic ordering process can be well observed at low d-values whereas access to large d-spacings up to 50 Å is of interest in studying long-period commensurate or incommensurate magnetic structures.
Single crystals can be used in special applications like studies of magnetic phase diagrams, i.e. measuring magnetic Bragg intensities in dependence of both temperature and magnetic field.
Texture analysis: The instrument can be setup and operated as a texture diffractometer to collect complete pole figures of metallic and geological specimen. Texture marks the orientational distribution of crystallites in a polycrystal and its analysis can be an important part of material characterization or provide important clues to the deformation history of geological samples. Three dimensional orientation distribution functions are obtained from two-dimensional pole figures of Bragg reflections which are obtained by scanning the sample through a whole range of different sample orientations.
Mineral phase analysis of archaeological ceramics using TOF neutron diffraction is truly non-destructive. The technique is particularly interesting if, like on Rotax the setup is a simple and stationary, and the instrument is able to accommodate large objects. Phase identification and quantitative phase analysis on original, unprepared archaeological pottery can be used to identify provenance and to reconstruct details of manufacturing.
The Rotax beam line is also used by the single crystal ALignment Facility ALF as well as for instrument component developments and tests, like monochromators, analyser crystals, scintillators and detectors.