An innovative in situ ball mill for X-ray diffraction

Voraksmy Ban, Yolanda Sadikin, Michael Lange, Nikolay Tumanov, Yaroslav Filinchuk, Radovan Černý, Nicola Casati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The renewed interest of mechanochemistry as an ecofriendly synthetic route has inspired original methodologies to probe reactions, with the aim to rationalize unknown mechanisms. Recently, Friščić et al. (Nat. Chem. 2013, 5, 66-73, DOI: 10.1038/nchem.1505) monitored the progress of milling reactions by synchrotron X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD). For the first time, it was possible to acquire directly information during a mechanochemical process. This new methodology is still in its early stages, and its development will definitively transform the fundamental understanding of mechanochemistry. A new type of in situ ball mill setup has been developed at the Materials Science beamline (Swiss Light Source, Paul Scherrer Institute, Switzerland). Its particular geometry, described here in detail, results in XRPD data displaying significantly lower background and much sharper Bragg peaks, which in turn allow more sophisticated analysis of mechanochemical processes, extending the limits of the technique.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13176-13181
Number of pages6
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 19 Dec 2017


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