Experimental Methods


Our experimental work and services include the synthesis and characterization of crystalline materials with interesting physical, chemical, and technical properties:

  • high temperature superconductors
  • low dimensional magnetic systems
  • multiferroics
  • molecular crystals with disorder, e.g. fullerenes
  • ionic conductors
  • fireproof materials
  • construction materials

The investigations of structure, defects and dynamics using X-ray and neutron diffraction allow a deeper understanding of the properties of crystalline matter.

The description of the available equipment and local contacts are found here.

The following methods of materials synthesis and characterization are available at the Institute.


Materials synthesis

  • Powder and polycrystalline materials from solid state reactions
  • Single-crystal growth from solutions and melts

X-ray topography and optical microscopy

  • Checking of the perfection of single crystals
  • Selection of single crystals for diffraction experiments
  • Investigation of structural phase transitions and domain formation

Phase analysis

Diffraction on polycrystalline samples:

  • substance identification using databases
  • determination of weight fractions in multicomponent phases

Crystal structure analysis

Analysis of diffraction data from:

  • powder samples, with pattern-matching analysis or Rietveld method as a function of temperature and pressure
  • single crystals, using software for the treatment of anharmonic effects, electron-density distribution, twinning, incommensurate modulations and magnetic structures as a function of temperature and pressure

Differential thermal analysis and thermogravimetry

  • Characterization of phase transitions
  • Kinetic processes, e.g., dehydratation processes