A Caltech Library Service

Mössbauer Diffractometry: Principles, Practice, and an Application to a Study of Chemical Order in ⁵⁷Fe₃Al


Lin, Jiao (2004) Mössbauer Diffractometry: Principles, Practice, and an Application to a Study of Chemical Order in ⁵⁷Fe₃Al. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/JSZ7-BC77.


For the first time, Mössbauer powder diffractometry went beyond the proof-of-principal stage and was used to study unknown periodicities of defect-related chemical environments of Fe atoms in a partially-ordered ⁵⁷Fe₃Al polycrystalline sample.

Mössbauer powder diffractometry is based on two phenomena, the Mössbauer effect and the Bragg diffraction. The Mössbauer effect is sensitive to short-range order whereas diffractometry is sensitive to long-range order. Together, they enable Mössbauer powder diffractometry to provide information on long-range periodicities of target atoms having specific short-range order.

Both experimental and theoretical efforts are necessary for this novel technique to become practical. In this research, hardware and software for Mössbauer powder diffractometry were improved. A kinematical diffraction theory for Mössbauer powder diffractometry incorporating effects of interference between electronic and nuclear resonant scattering was developed. The applicability of the theory was verified by computer calculations that accounted for dynamical diffraction effects. A thorough analysis of polarization effects, including a polycrystalline average of polarization factors, was done systematically using spherical harmonic expansions.

Multiple diffraction patterns were measured at Doppler velocities across all nuclear resonances of ⁵⁷Fe₃Al. On the basis of the theory developed, the superlattice diffractions were analyzed to provide data on the long-range order of Fe atoms having different numbers of Al neighbors. Comparing experimental data to calculations showed that Fe atoms having three Al atoms as first-nearest neighbors (1nn) have partial simple cubic long-range order, similar to that of Fe atoms with four Al 1nn. The simple cubic periodicity of Fe atoms with three Al 1nn was significantly lower than expected for homogeneous antisite disorder, however. Monte-Carlo simulations and transmission electron microscopy suggest that a significant fraction of aperiodic Fe atoms with three Al 1nn are near antiphase domain boundaries.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:anti-phase boundary; D03 structure; hyperfine interactions; iron-aluminide; Mossbauer diffractometry; point defects; polarization factor; spherical harmonics
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Materials Science
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Fultz, Brent T.
Thesis Committee:
  • Fultz, Brent T. (chair)
  • Rees, Douglas C.
  • Painter, Oskar J.
  • Haile, Sossina M.
  • Johnson, William Lewis
Defense Date:10 May 2004
Non-Caltech Author Email:linjiao (AT)
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-05192004-092347
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:1868
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:19 May 2004
Last Modified:03 Feb 2021 23:23

Thesis Files

PDF - Final Version
See Usage Policy.


Repository Staff Only: item control page