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Chemical environment selectivity in Mossbauer diffraction


Stephens, Tab Allen (1996) Chemical environment selectivity in Mossbauer diffraction. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/q4tq-7k23.


We demonstrate a new feature of Mossbauer diffraction that is useful for studies of atomic arrangements in materials - that Mossbauer diffraction can measure the autocorrelation function of 57Fe atoms as a function of their chemical environment. To acquire the experimental data, we built a Debye-Scherrer type powder diffractometer with a 57Co radiation source and a large angle position sensitive detector. By working with polycrystalline materials near the kinematical limit of diffraction, the broadening of nuclear energy levels is not severe, so the spectroscopic capabilities of Mossbauer scattering are preserved. The sample was polycrystalline 57Fe3Al with the ordered DO3 structure. The two sites for the 57Fe atoms, the Wyckoff 4(b) and 8(c) sites, differ in both their chemical environment (0Al versus 4Al 1nn) and in their spatial arrangement (face-centered cubic, fcc, with lattice parameter 2a0 versus simple cubic, sc, with lattice parameter a0). Diffraction peaks from the fcc structure were detected when the incident radiation was tuned to the Mossbauer resonance of the Wyckoff 4(b) Fe site, but not for tuning to the 8(c) site, thereby distinguishing the spatial arrangements of these two Fe sites. Thus, the validity of chemical environment selectivity was proven. The phase change of the Mossbauer scattering near resonance affects the interference of diffracted waves from different chemical environments. Interference effects between x-ray Rayleigh scattering and Mossbauer scattering from the 57Fe3Al sample were observed, as were interference effects involving the different components of the Mossbauer spectra. A simple oscillator model was used successfully to calculate the interference effects seen in the experimental data.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
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:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:14 May 1996
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Office of Naval Research Graduate FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-06172005-081511
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:2630
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:17 Jun 2005
Last Modified:16 Apr 2021 23:09

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PDF (Stephens_ta_1996.pdf) - Final Version
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