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Course year 1
Teaching units Unit Analisi mineralogiche avanzate
Related or Additional Studies (lesson)
  • TAF: Supplementary compulsory subjects SSD: GEO/06 CFU: 4
Related or Additional Studies (exercise)
  • TAF: Supplementary compulsory subjects SSD: GEO/06 CFU: 2
Teachers: Riccardo FANTINI, Alberto VIANI
Exam type oral
Evaluation final vote
Teaching language Italiano
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Riccardo FANTINI
Alberto VIANI


To be able to choose and apply the diffraction methodology (single crystal or powder diffraction) more appropriate for the structural determination or refinement of a crystalline natural or synthetic material. To be able to apply this methodology to the characterization and definition of material properties. To use the Rietveld method for the quantitative analysis of complex mixture, containing amorphous phases too.

Admission requirements

Base knowledge on: structural crystallography, X-ray diffraction, mineralogical crystal-chemistry.

Course contents

1 CFU (8 hours): Review/reminder of structural crystallography and X-ray diffraction theory. Interpretation and use of International Crystallographic Tables. Structure factor. Reciprocal lattice, Ewal diffraction sphere, limit sphere. Systematic extinctions. Anomalous diffusion. Atom thermal vibration.
1 CFU (8 hours): Electronic density. Fourier transform. Structural resolution methods: Patterson, direct methods, charge flipping, heavy atom. Structure refinement.
1 CFU (8 hours): Interpretation of International Crystallography Tables. Description of single crystal diffraction instruments. Single crystal X diffraction experiment and structural refinement of a mineral.

1 CFU (8 hours): The Rietveld method, line profile analyses
1 CFU (12 hours): Practical session on GSAS software (structural refinements and quantitative phase analysis).
1 CFU (12 hours): Practical session on quantitative phase analyses on complex mixtures

Teaching methods

The attendance will be in presence. The classes will be carried out with the aid of audiovisual media (Power Point presentations) and practical laboratory exercises. Attendance to lessons is not compulsory. The course will be delivered in Italian

Assessment methods

The examination tends to verify the aquired knowledges, expertises and skills (80%) and also the communication skills, the autonomy of judgment, the learning ability (20%). The final evaluation is in thirtieths and consists of: 1) Oral examination: the student will be required to answer three/five general questions on the following topics : methods of structural resolution, structural refinement, use of international tables, Fourier transform, analytical methods for the study of geomaterials 2) Practical test on the structural refinement or a quantitative mineralogical analysis on a mixture using the Rietveld method. The final mark will be calculated taking into account the results of practical and oral examinations. The final examination could be conducted in presence or remotely depending on the evolution of the COVID19 situation.

Learning outcomes

The student will be able:
- to choose the most appropriate methodology to characterize a mineral or a crystalline industrial material;
- to use X-ray diffraction data on single crystal for the structural resolution and refinement;
- to carry out a strucrural refinement and a quantitative phase analyses on polycristalline mixtures by exploiting Rietveld method

The student has to use the X-ray diffraction to solve or refine the crystal structure of minerals and to apply the results to the comprehension of rock crystal-chemistry, genesis and structural deformations induced by geological processes. In the case of synthetic materials the student has to be able to correlate structure and properties for industrial applications.
The student must be able to select the most appropriate technique to solve issue linked to natural or synthetic materials

The student will be able to deepen and develop topics relative to the relationships structure-properties and discriminate the mass media news; identify objectives, roles and public responsibilities in the raw materials and synthetic phases management.

The student has to be able to popularize the importance of the study of the structural characteristics of natural and synthetic phases for their applications in geology and in economic fields; present in a rational, brief and through way objectives, concepts and results of crystallography and its applications; disseminate technical data in English; use information technologies to elaborate the experimental data.

The student will be able to deepen independently the known topics and to apply the scientific method to formulate and verify theories.

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-Dispense preparate dai docenti disponibili in formato elettronico (files PPT).
-Fundamentals of Crystallography. C.Giacovazzo Ed. IUCr Text on Crystallography. 7.Oxford Science Publications.
- Introduzione alle tecniche analitiche e strumentali – Applicazioni alla mineralogia e alle scienze dei materiali. A.F. Gualtieri, Libreria Edizioni
-La Diffrazione dei Cristalli. Attilio Immirzi e Consiglia Tedesco. edizioni. Webster srl, Padova Italy