# What are some good synthetic samples I can make myself to start getting better at Quantitative X-Ray Diffraction?

I'm a student wanting to become an expert in quantitative X-Ray Diffraction (QXRD) to determine the wt%s of both crystalline and amorphous phases in a solid specimen. At my university I have access to a Bruker D8A X-Ray Diffractometer and use DiffracEVA for PhaseID and TOPAS5 for quantitative analysis.

I've recently asked a question on how to do QXRD on complex fly ash specimens but have been advised by some colleagues that I shouldn't start with quantifying such a complex sample so quickly as it's very difficult and likely not time-efficient. At present I have only done successful QXRD (i.e. with minimal error in Rietveld Refining) with the simple idealised files found in the TOPAS how-to guide.

I'm looking to build my skillset and want to sample prep, test and QXRD analyse some synthetic samples (i.e. where I make the samples myself and know the exact wt%s) in order to get better at QXRD. Does anyone have any advice around this and, more specifically, recommend any good starting points for which material feedstocks to use and sample prep methodologies?

The easiest crystal to synthesize is probably alum, or potassium aluminium sulfate $$\ce{KAl(SO4)2·12H2O}$$ . It is not expensive and easily soluble in water. Evaporation produces nice colorless octahedral crystals, which may grow up to macroscopic dimensions.
• Try ! But lab grade $\ce{CaF2}$ is obtained by precipitation in aqueous solution. So it may not be really crystallized. Sep 5, 2022 at 9:49