X-Ray Diffraction Laboratory

X-ray diffraction is a critical tool for nearly all earth scientists. Within Dartmouth Earth Sciences, we maintain and staff an X-ray diffraction laboratory, equipped with a Bruker D8-Focus diffractometer (XRD). 

This instrument is contained within a dedicated laboratory facility that also has general equipment for the isolation and preparation of mineral suspensions for analysis. This facility uses many of the techniques pioneered by the late Dr. Bob Reynolds, one of the most renowned clay mineralogists. In addition to this facility, several other diffractometers, for both powder and single crystal, are available in nearby campus facilities.

Lab Team

Supervisors: Ed Meyer or Josh Landis

Phone: (603) 646-0607


Quant Software

  • RockJock - Quantitative Mineralogy from XRD (USGS FTP)
  • MudMaster - Crystalline size distribution and strain from XRD (USGS FTP)
  • GALOPER - Shape of Crystal size distribution from XRD (USGS FTP)



  • Estimation for percent illite in illite/EG-smectite from Moore & Reynolds, 1997 p 273 (PDF on campus only)
  • Clay Prep Procedures - Glass Slide Mount from Moore & Reynolds, 1997 p 273 (PDF on campus only)


Lab Equipment

  • Centrifuges (including a high speed 20,000 rpm unit)
  • Blender (clay disaggregation)
  • Ovens
  • Magnetic separator
  • Sonicator