Rigaku: Starting the XRD

Instrument Startup
Turn on the X-ray tube
Initial goniometer alignment

Instrument Startup

image: breaker

You rarely have to check this, but to be thorough, look on the back of the instrument. The circuit breaker looks like this. The black marker should be pointing up, to the ON position. If not, turn the knob to the RESET position, and then to ON.


image: chiller_on

Turn the chiller on. For more information about this, see here. If there is water all over the floor, as here, see about fixing that problem first.


image: key_switch_on

Be sure the XRD doors are shut all the way. On the XRD front, turn the key from the ◯ (off) position all the way clockwise, then release. The key will spring back by itself to the | (on) position.


image: power_on_light

If all is well so far, the power light should be on. Wait 5 minutes before moving to the next step.


image: small_computer

Did you wait 5 minutes? I hope so. Now, turn on the small computer. This is the HyPix 400 server, the interface between the array detector and the control software that is run in the big computer.

Wait about 5 minutes, while the small computer boots and the hardware goes through check routines.


image: big_computer

After the 5 minute wait, turn on the big computer.


image: smartlab_studio_icon

Double-click the SmartLab Studio II icon. That will start the instrument control and analysis software. When prompted, enter the appropriate password. The program is not exactly speedy to start, so be patient.

If you are just interested in learning about system hardware or software, you can double-click the Smartlab SE Help icon.


image: system_will_be_initialized

If all is still well, this message will show up (may take a minute or two). Be sure the doors are shut and press OK.

If this message does not show up, AND you want to collect new data, exit the software and reboot the big computer. That usually fixes it.

If you just want to play with old data, you can do that without the initialization.

NOTE: Once this message didn’t show up, yet I was still able to turn on the tube and run samples.

To see if the computer is communicating with the XRD, click on the H/W Status button. The status window will show numbers and actual names of devices if the communications are working. If so, turn on the X-ray tube. If not, re-boot the computer and try again.

Turn on the X-ray tube

image: xrd_measurement_tab

Be sure you are in the XRD Measurement tab.


image: home_startup_shutdown_1

Press the Home menu, and click the Startup/Shutdown icon.


image: run_startup_yes

The Startup/Shutdown window should open. Be sure the Aging condition is set to Use aging table…. Press Run, and Yes.

If the Run button and other text is grayed-out, the initialization is still going on. It can take a minute or two. Run and other text will turn black when it’s ready.


image: tube_runup_clock

The tube power will ramp-up. You can’t do anything till the clock reaches zero, so prepare your samples, or something.


image: close_startup_shutdown_window

When the tube is powered-up, close the Startup/Shutdown window.


image: x-rays_on_when_lit

As soon as the tube starts to power-up, the X-rays on light should turn on. Can’t open the doors? It’s dark inside the XRD cabinet? See here.


Initial goniometer alignment

image: xrd_measurement_general_bb

Every time the instrument is turned on, an initial alignment should be done. This example uses the General Bragg-Brentano measurement method, but other methods are similar.

Go to the XRD measurement tab, and in the Package Activities window click on the General (BB) method.


image: bb_sequence_window

The method sequence window opens. Notice how four items are nested within Sequence, what this window shows, and three are nested within General (BB), the name of this sequence. The three items nested within General (BB) are the activities that can be run in this method.


image: optics_alignment_1

Click Optics Alignment (BB) sequence item to open the Optics Alignment (BB) window. For more detailed descriptions, but using a different detector, see this from the Help system.


image: optics_alignment_run

In the Optics Alignment window, make sure the options are all as shown, especially the use of Systems settings, and press the Run button. You will have to wait a bit while the software queries the hardware for its current configuration. Sometimes you have to press the Run button twice.


image: smart_message_alignment

A Smart Message window opens, showing the hardware you need to check or to change inside the XRD. Blue means check that the thing is there or put the thing in, red means take the thing out. This is telling you three things:

1. Check to make sure the standard sample stage is installed (most of the time it is).

2. Install the center slit alignment tool.

3. Remove the Kβ filter.

The software shows pictures of the things you have to check or handle, and approximately where they are taken from or put in. When you think everything is right, press OK.

If you changed the configuration correctly, the alignment procedure will start. You can watch its progress in the Optics Alignment (BB) running window.


image: optics_alignment_hardware

In this case, here are the things described immediately above: 1 is the standard stage, 2 is the center slit alignment tool, in place, and 3 is the Kβ filter removed.

The center slit tool is usually in an open box inside the XRD housing. You can put the Kβ filter in the same box. Don’t touch the filter foil itself, it’s fragile and expensive.


image: optics_alignment_running

The Hardware Control window opens, which shows progress of the alignment procedure. It takes a few minutes. When complete, it brings you back to the Optics Alignment (BB) window.


image: optics_alignment_OK

Now that you’ve returned to the Optics Alignment (BB) window, press OK to exit.

The initial alignment is complete. Go back to the main menu and do the next thing, which is probably running a sample.