A flow-through hydrothermal cell for in situ neutron diffraction studies of phase transformations

Brian O'Neill, Christophe Tenailleau, Yung Nogthai, Andrew Studer, Joël Brugger, Allan Pring

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A flow-through hydrothermal cell for the in situ neutron diffraction study of crystallisation and phase transitions has been developed. It can be used for kinetic studies on materials that exhibit structural transformations under hydrothermal conditions. It is specifically designed for use on the medium-resolution powder diffractometer (MRPD) at ANSTO, Lucas Heights, Sydney. But it is planned to adapt the design for the Polaris beamline at ISIS and the new high-intensity powder diffractometer (Wombat) at the new Australian reactor Opal. The cell will operate in a flow-through mode over the temperature range from 25-300 °C and up to pressures of 100 bar. The first results of a successful transformation of pentlandite (Fe,Ni) 9S 8 to violarite (Fe,Ni) 3S 4 under mild conditions (pH∼4) at 120 °C and 3 bar using in situ neutron diffraction measurements are presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)942-945
Number of pages4
JournalPhysica B: Condensed Matter
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Flow-through hydrothermal cell
  • Pentlandite
  • Phase transformations
  • Violarite
  • X-ray and neutron diffraction

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