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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Powder Handling Device for X-ray Diffraction Analysis with Minimal Sample Preparation, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

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Powder Handling Device for X-ray Diffraction Analysis with Minimal Sample Preparation, Phase I
This project consists of developing a Vibrating Sample Holder (VSH) for planetary X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) instruments. The principle of this novel sample handling technique relies on vibrations generated in a sample holder to create movements in the powdered sample. The major benefit over conventional sample handling techniques is the possibility to characterize materials with grain-sizes up to two orders of magnitude larger, with no degradation in the data quality. It allows existing planetary sample-preparation systems such as rock crushers and drills to be used in place of fine-grinding mills normally required for quality XRD analysis. A secondary benefit of the VSH is that it offers a simple means of loading and removal of samples, with a limited number of moving parts. This research will answer a critical need for sample handling devices for conducting definitive mineralogy analyses in Solar System Exploration. The Phase 1 effort will focus on a feasibility study of two critical components of the system: the thin X-ray windows required for the sample holder, and the mechanism for controlling the granular flow. The Phase 2 R&D work will lead to a VSH brassboard prototype that can be remotely operated and interfaced to a planetary XRD instrument. More »

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This is a historic project that was completed before the creation of TechPort on October 1, 2012. Available data has been included. This record may contain less data than currently active projects.