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IUCr 1997 Report - Commission on Powder Diffraction

The Commission has made an excellent start to an ambitious programme of events and projects. The mailing list for the CPD Newsletter has now expanded to over 1200. The establishment of the European Crystallographic Association (ECA) and associated Special Interest Groups (SIGs) has raised interesting new ways of interacting with the European powder community that the CPD is investigating. The first round of the quantitative phase analysis project has begun and the CPD has a high profile in promoting a wide variety of workshops, tutorials and schools.


The largest meeting covering the areas of interest for the CPD in 1997 was the European Powder Diffraction Conference held in Parma, Italy. This was an excellent meeting organized by Professor G. Artioli covering: structure solution; refinement; QPA; in situ kinetics; catalysis; disordered structures; instruments; size/strain; accuracy; thin films; and general materials. The CPD held its business meeting in Parma and finally agreed that the main CPD sponsored satellite would be fully integrated with the main IUCr Congress in Glasgow. The 46th annual Denver meeting was held in Steamboat Springs, USA, covering a broad range of topics as usual. This was the last year that P. Predecki was master of ceremonies; in future the ICDD will be responsible for this meeting. There was CPD involvement in the 17th Conference on Applied Crystallography and 3rd Rietveld Summer School organized by D. Stroz and at the workshop to discuss the possibly of a Spanish powder beamline at the ESRF.


Quantitative phase analysis. An update was published in the CPD Newsletter in December 1997. Briefly, four samples of carefully constituted multiple composition are in the process of being distributed to those people who volunteered for the study. There was an excellent response to the original request for participants, 140 questionnaires have been distributed and to date 90 have been returned requesting material. The original chemical specification has changed slightly and is now better defined. The samples are: (1) corundum + zincite + fluorite; (2) as (1) but with preferred orientation and brucite; (3) as (1) but with amorphous glass; and (4) corundum + magnetite + zircon. Thanks are due to I. Madsen particularly but also to CPD consultant R. J. Hill, member D. K. Smith and a large number of co-workers. We expect some preliminary results for presentation at Budapest (EPDIC6) and to be able to present the results of the study in full at the Glasgow Congress in 1999.

Rietveld guidelines. CPD member L. B. McCusker has submitted a paper to Journal of Applied Crystallography that contains advice and guidelines for Rietveld refinement. The paper has the endorsement of the CPD and we hope that it will spread better working practices amongst the powder community. This was felt to be necessary after the results of the first CPD round robin were published by R. J. Hill and L. M. D. Cranswick [J. Appl. Cryst. (1994), 27, 802-844.

Collaboration with other Commissions. This is proceeding well, especially with structure solution techniques using combinations of powder and electron diffraction; we hope that our collaborations will result in fruitful research with small-angle scattering, X-ray absorption spectroscopy, neutron scattering and high pressure, possibly leading to joint microsymposia at the Glasgow Congress.

Industrial application notes. P. Scardi has begun research into the possibility of the CPD making further inroads towards industrial application notes. The aim would be to publish good practice in certain common industrial situations in a variety of languages.

Newsletters. There have been two CPD Newsletters published in this period, one edited by R. Delhez, the other by P. Scardi. Both editions have appeared on the web (http://www.iucr.org/iucr-top/comm/cpd/index.html). This web site has been considerably updated and is now fully operational containing useful links and information for the powder community. We are investigating ways of mirroring this site to speed access.


R. L. Snyder represented the ICDD at the CPD meetings, once again reporting on a wide range of activities, details of which can be found at http://www.icdd.com/.

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