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Lehigh University Libraries - Library Guides

Powder Diffraction File: Overview

x-ray diffraction data. includes basic properties of elements and compounds; references


The Powder Diffraction File (PDF) is a dataset of diffraction patterns and basic properties of elements and compounds. Originally inorganic materials (with minerals as a special subset), it has expanded to include organic compounds. The early data was derived experimentally; much of the later material is calculated. For many years the dataset was issued as 3x5 index cards and the data is still displayed in card format but can be exported for use in databases and spreadsheets.

This guide covers only one aspect of the database: finding an unknown by using the long/strong diffraction line data.

The PDF is located on a computer in Fairchild/Martindale Library outside room 523. From the Library's main entrance, take  the central staircase (or either elevator) up one level, turn left toward the south end of the bulding, and proceed to the south wall.

Tutorials from the International Centre for Diffraction Data (ICDD)