Document Type


Date of Degree Completion

Summer 2022

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Geological Sciences

Committee Chair

Christopher Mattinson

Second Committee Member

Angela Halfpenny

Third Committee Member

Anne Cubilie


X-ray diffraction (XRD) is widely applied in a variety of disciplines to identify crystalline solids in a powdered sample. Recent software advances have made quantitative analysis of samples easier and more accessible, but the quality of the result depends on the sample preparation and data collection procedure. This project focuses on testing methods of sample preparation and XRD data collection and analysis to lay the groundwork for refinement of the existing standard operating procedures at CWU. First, I determined the ball mill grinding time necessary to powder different mineral samples. The addition of hand grinding to ball mill-ground samples produced important, systematic differences in grain size. I performed initial XRD measurements and used the data to assess the purity of mineral samples. I compared data collected using two different types of XRD sample holders and found that they produce data of similar quality. Longer measurement durations produce data of better quality than shorter durations.

Included in

Geology Commons