X-Ray Diffractometer Rigaku SmartLab XE

Marco Asa, Andrea Scaccabarozzi
Authorized user


The SmartLab XE is the flagship XRD solution for thin films by Rigaku. The instrument exploits the characteristic x-ray radiation of a Cu anode (wavelength 1.5406 Å) and features an eucentric Euler cradle, a solid state 1D detector and a non-coplanar arm dedicated to in-plane measurements. The X-ray beam can be either used in Bragg-Brentano (parafocusing) or parallel geometry by changing a single slit. Parallel beam can be monochromatized by passing through a Ge (220) double bounce crystal. Measurements allowed are conventional theta-2theta diffraction, grazing incidence diffraction, in-plane diffraction, X-ray reflectometry (XRR), residual stress analysis, pole figure extraction, and reciprocal space mapping. Typical applications are the determination of the crystalline phase, lattice parameter, defects in epitaxial films, thickness and density of thin layers. The hardware is supported by a software, SmartLab Studio II, dedicated data acquisition and analysis, with access to the crystallography open database of materials.

Working principle

A complete discussion working principles as well as basic and advanced applications of X-ray diffraction to thin films can be found in Thin Film Analysis by X–Ray Scattering by Mario Birkholz (Wiley, 2005). Introductory papers on the different x-ray techniques are shared upon request.


  • θ-2θ range: 0-160°
  • In-plane range: 0-120°
  • 2θ Resolution (monochromatized Cu Kalpha on sapphire (0006): 0.006° FWHM
  • Allowed sample sizes range from few millimiters up to a 200 mm wafer.
  • XY Mapping capabilities up to +/- 50 mm