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IUCr 1995 Report - Commission on Powder Diffraction

1995 was another very active year for the Commission on Powder Diffraction (CPD). The CPD was involved in the organization of three major international meetings in Chester, UK, Oxford, UK, and Liptovsky Mikula, Slovakia, was involved in ongoing projects for maintaining and updating the World Directory of Powder Diffraction Programs and continuing the Round Robin on Crystallite Size and Microstrain Determination, and initiated two new projects on Recommended Guidelines for Rietveld Analysis and a Round Robin on Quantitative Phase Analysis. Direct communication with powder diffractionists worldwide was maintained and enhanced with the production of two more issues of the CPD Newsletter and its wide dissemination via an increased mailing list and its installation on the World-Wide Web.


After undertaking largely independent activities over the past six years, the CPD and the European powder diffraction community (in the form of the EPDIC series of meetings) started what is hoped to be an increasing level of cooperation. This interaction began with the invitation to the CPD Chairman, R. J. Hill, along with other members of the CPD, J. Fiala and D. Louër, to serve on the Programme Committee of the EPDIC IV meeting in Chester, UK, in July 1995. The collaboration will continue with similar CPD involvement in the organization of EPDIC V in Italy in 1997 and with assurances by the CPD and the ECM to coordinate their meetings in Europe so as to prevent overlap.

The CPD lent its support to the very successful International Meeting on Structure Determination from Powder Diffraction Data, held in Oxford, UK, in July 1995 and organized by W. I. F. David and colleagues from the Rutherford Laboratory, UK. CPD members L. B. McCusker, D. Louër and R. J. Hill presented invited lectures and workshops and the IUCr provided a generous grant to the Organizing Committee. This Conference was a very timely meeting with a very productive mixture of lectures and workshops that captured much of the excitement of this rapidly evolving area of powder diffraction. A book is expected to evolve which will be a member of the IUCr/OUP Monograph Series.

The CPD was also involved in the International Conference on X-ray Powder Diffraction Analysis of Real Structure of Matter: Size-Strain '95, held in Slovakia in August 1995 under the local guidance of Dr P. Sutta. CPD members J. Fiala, J. I. Langford and D. Louër and Chairman R. J. Hill served on the Programme Committee, J. Fiala as Chairman, and the IUCr again provided support in the form of a grant. Extended proceedings of this Conference will be published shortly, with advice provided by the CPD.

CPD consultant and immediate Past Chairman, R. A. Young, continued the series of CPD-organized three-day Rietveld Summer Schools with co-lecturers R. B. Von Dreele and A. K. Cheetham. The latest in this series was held in July 1995 at the Moscow State University, Russia, with Professor L. A. Aslanov as head of the local organizing group. The meeting was very well attended by 86 students and local scientists and, as usual, led to a significant enhancement of the participants' awareness of the capabilities of Rietveld analysis, particularly by young scientists. The CPD is once again grateful to the IUCr for providing financial support to assist with the travel expenses of the main lecturers and for registration and living-cost grants for students.

The CPD maintained a high profile in preparations for the IUCr Congress in Seattle through the involvement of its Chairman, R. J. Hill, and member D. E. Cox on the Programme Committee and with associated responsibility for the coordination of lecturers and other contributions to most of the powder-diffraction-related Microsymposia. The CPD's nominee, D. Louër, was invited by the IUCr to present a Plenary Lecture entitled Powder Diffraction - an Update at the Congress, and the CPD-initiated Microsymposium entitled Materials VIII - Powder Diffraction was also accepted, with R. J. Hill and J. B. Cohen as Co-Chairs.

In a novel initiative, the CPD has combined forces with the 45th Annual Denver X-ray Conference (DXC) to organize jointly the Satellite Meeting on Powder Diffraction in Denver, Colorado, USA, 3-8 August 1996, associated with the Seattle Congress. Two members of the CPD, D. E. Cox and D. K. Smith, served on the Organizing Committee and several CPD members and consultants were involved as invited speakers or workshop and special session organizers, including D. Louër (France), D. E. Cox (USA), R. J. Cernik (UK), H. Toraya (Japan), R. A. Young (USA) and R. J. Hill (Australia). In response to a joint request from the DXC and the CPD, the IUCr provided support for this ground-breaking meeting.


In conjunction with the Slovakia meeting, CPD member J. Fiala and R. L. Snyder (ICDD) co-chair a Task Group working on a Round Robin on Crystallite Size and Microstrain Determination. The preliminary results of studies on a widely circulated `standard' sample of a ceramic material containing inclusions of crystallites of known size were reported during the Slovakia meeting.

Continued organizational and financial support was provided by the CPD for the maintenance and updating of the World Directory of Powder Diffraction Programs, co-organized by S. Gorter (The Netherlands) and D. K. Smith (USA). This compilation has now appeared in two updated versions and includes summary descriptions and contact information for several hundred programs. It has become a major resource that is accessible to the worldwide powder diffraction community. The grant from the CPD has been used to enable the database to be even further expanded in scope and size, and to provide hardware for it to be distributed by anonymous FTP.

Two new projects were initiated during the year. One involves the production of summary guidelines and protocols for the collection and analysis of powder data for Rietveld analysis and, related to this, the identification of a new Rietveld-method `standard' material with higher complexity than the monoclinic zirconia sample used as a benchmark for the recently completed CPD Rietveld Refinement Round Robin project. This work is being coordinated by CPD members L. B. McCusker and D. E. Cox. The second new project is being coordinated by D. K. Smith and R. J. Hill and involves a new round robin survey of the accuracy, precision, capabilities and limitations of quantitative phase analysis by diffraction methods. The selection of appropriate multiphase samples and discussion of the protocols for the survey are well advanced, with the recommendations planned for open discussion during a workshop at the Satellite Meeting on Powder Diffraction in Denver in August 1996. The centre for distribution of survey materials and data analysis will be maintained by R. J. Hill and I. C. Madsen at Port Melbourne, Australia.


Production of the CPD Newsletter continued with the distribution of issues 14 and 15 in May and October 1995, edited by E. R. Tellgren (Sweden) and H. Toraya (Japan), respectively. These issues included feature articles on the Aminoff Prize (awarded to Hugo Rietveld), the contributions of Gunnar Hägg to powder diffraction, neutron powder diffraction at Kjeller, Norway, a tribute to Arthur C. Wilson, and current powder diffraction activities at the Photon Factory, Japan. Copies were sent to more than 850 powder diffractionists worldwide through the CPD's extensive hard-copy mailing list. A novel feature of the CPD Newsletter's availability now and in the future is its recent installation on the World-Wide Web with access via a pointer from the IUCr Home Page. CPD member R. J. Cernik (Daresbury Laboratory, UK) has installed a copy of Newsletter 15 along with contact details and a brief introduction to the CPD and has agreed to continue this service for subsequent issues. It is expected that this innovation will ultimately provide even more widespread access and contributions to the activities of the CPD during the next triennium. The CPD is grateful to the Daresbury Laboratory for its agreement to support the distribution of the Newsletter in both hard and soft form in this manner.

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