Dr. Gili Cohen-Taguri Introduces BINA’s XRD Lab

X-ray diffraction techniques are becoming ever-more important for the analysis of thin films. But because most research labs and technology companies lack the scientific infrastructure and know-how to personally perform X-ray measurements, they must rely on the help of specialists.  One of the busiest and most trusted specialists in Israel is Dr. Gili Cohen-Taguri, who heads BINA’s X-Ray Diffraction Lab.

 X-Ray diffraction, or XRD, is non-destructive technique which provides an enormous amount of information about crystal structure, chemical composition and physical properties of bulk and thin films crystalline or polycrystalline material,” says Cohen-Taguri, a Tel-Aviv University-trained specialist in surface science who joined the BINA staff in 2011. “These measurements are vital not only for scientists working with powder, but with thin films and nano-materials as well.”

The main “workhorse” of BINA’s XRD facility is a top-of-the-line Rigaku SmartLab diffractometer, purchased two years ago.  “A conventional XRD machine allows us to analyze the ‘anatomy’ of XRD patterns, from which we can infer a material’s phase, crystal structure and preferred orientations (texture), as well as other microstructure properties like crystallite size, crystallinity, strain and crystal defects,” Cohen-Taguri explains. “But while conventional XRD techniques support micron-level information in just one direction, the “SmartLab” system supports in-plane measurements as well.  This makes it possible to examine the top-most surface of a material or nano-film from two directions or more, and to characterize its quality and thickness.”

Cohen-Taguri and her team consult with both academic and industrial clients, designing and carrying out scientific studies, then analyzing the results. “Our infrastructure makes it possible to achieve a wide range of exact and scientifically-significant measurements,” she says. “For example, Grazing Incident XRD (GIXRD) allows us to achieve very accurate measurements from thin films only, free from any distorting data that might come from the substrate. We can also perform stress-depth profiling of polycrystalline thin-film structures and understand surface phenomena.”

The lab supports the basic and applicative work of BINA scientists, and other Israeli researchers. At the same time, it maintains intensive collaboration with industrial partners who are attracted by the lab’s ability to perform the high-resolution (HRXRD) measurements needed to characterize semiconductor materials grown on single crystal substrates.

Our measurements create a bridge between nano-scale structural properties and macro-level behavior,” says Cohen-Taguri, whose own PhD focused on epitaxial growth of nanostructures on semiconductor surfaces. “XRD characterization can help transform a theoretical research direction into a solid, nanotechnology success.”

This article was originally published in the BINA Newsletter No. 3 - March 2015. View the original article here.
For more on Dr. Cohen-Taguri click here.