Earth & Planetary Sciences X-Ray Diffraction Laboratory

The X-Ray Diffraction laboratory is a user-operated service center laboratory available to any qualified UNM faculty, staff, graduate or upper division undergraduate students for sponsored research projects. The lab has existed since the early 1970s and has been in continous operation as a multi-user service center facility for almost fifteen years. Our "workhorse" instrument since 1985 has been a Scintag PADV powder diffractometer. In 2012 we added two new instruments with the help of an NSF MRI award -- an advanced general purpose Rigaku SmartLab instrument for powder and thin-film work and a Rigaku D/maX Rapid II instrument for microdiffraction studies. See the "About our Lab" page for details about all of our instruments.

In the links above, "About our Lab" describes the facility in some detail. "Using the Lab" describes what prospective users must do to qualify as laboratory users, "XRD Resources" are a page of links to useful information about X-Ray Powder Diffraction (both on this site and on the Worldwide Web), and "XRD Course Info" contains information about an Introductory Course in X-Ray Powder Diffraction along with a library of tutorial information available to those registered for the course (with most available to the general public as well).

We invite you to explore our pages and make use of them. If you find anything amiss or needing correction, please send your feedback to the XRD Lab manager at the Email address listed below.

Location: Room B-25, Northrop Hall,
200 Yale Blvd. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87131
Lab Phone: (505) 277-6530

Lab Manager: Eric Peterson. Phone: (505) 470-1076 (Mobile)

Faculty Supervisor: Adrian Brearley. Office: Northrop Hall Rm 206. Phone: (505) 277-4163, Email:

These X-Ray Diffraction pages are designed to be a resource for current and potential users of the X-ray powder diffraction laboratory at in the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences at the University of New Mexico. They are eternally under construction. Latest updates 30-Aug-2013.

Jim Connolly, former XRD Lab Manager has retired effective September 1, 2013. He may be reached for consultation and questions via Email to Reponses may not be instantaneous. Day-to-day operational issues should be addressed to Eric Peterson.

Lab status as of 30-Aug-2013:

The Scintag Diffractometer is:


Rigaku SmartLab instrument is:


The Rigaku D/maX Rapid II instrument is:


Please report any unusual system behavior in person or via Email to

Until issues related to management of these lab web pages are worked out, the status updates here may not be exactly current. All current users should receive an Email when the status of any instrument (up or down) changes so please monitor your UNM Email. SmartLab users should check the lab calendar as access issues should be entered in the calendar as they arise.

Current Analytical Options in our Laboratory: Each instrument has a dedicated Windows workstation computer attached for instrument control and data analysis. The Scintag control computer uses Windows XP and DataScan 4 software for system control, but does not include any data analysis software. The Rigaku SmartLab and D/maX Rapid II systems use Windows 7 and include control and data collection software specific to those systems in addition to the complete suite of data analysis software described in the next paragraph. The D/maX Rapid II system also includes software (Rigaku's 2DP) that can convert 2D data collected by the instrument into a conventional 2-theta vs. intensity diffraction pattern.

For details about all installed software and analytical capabilities, please see the Software Section the "About our Lab" page.

All of our analytical systems are located in the XRD lab rooms B-25 and B-27 of Northrop Hall but some can be remotely accessed for convenience in data analysis. If you are interested in availing yourself of this capability, please contact Eric Peterson ( who can assist in getting you set up to do that.

The Scintag Diffractometer is scheduled by means of a Yahoo Calendar that is described in the next section. We have an "Official" XRD Laboratory Scheduling Policy to be followed by all users that is designed to allow users to schedule time on the system in a manner that respects the needs of the users of our multi-user laboratory. The RIgaku SmartLab is currently scheduled by means of a shared MS Exchange calendar through the UNM LoboMail system; access to this calender is by invitation to qualified system users after they have completed training on the instrument. Scheduling for the Rigaku D/maX Rapid II system has not yet been formalized, but will be as we develop and train new users of that instrument.

Yahoo Calendar: In the interest of convenience to our all-over-campus users, we are now using an onlne calendar for scheduling lab time on the Scintag system. All current users should have received information about how to log in and access the calendar for "epsxrdlab" located Yahoo calendars at Email Eric Peterson ( if you need the access password. The "read-only" version at may be consulted to see what times are available without logging in. There are shortcuts on the desktop of the Scintag control computer and the system next to it for easy access the calendar. We also have an online Adobe Acrobat document which explains in some detail how to effectively use the calendar. This online calendar is the authoritative calendar for lab scheduling.

Please direct comments and suggestions about these pages and the X-Ray Diffraction Laboratory to Eric Peterson, Lab Manager or Jim Connolly (who is still fiddling with these web pages, even in retirement).