MIT Center for Materials Science and Engineering

About the

Reserve an Instrument

Instrument Status

How to Access the SEF

Training Schedule

Useful Resources

Tutorials and Presentations



About Scott Speakman

You are using the old website.

Information may be out-of-date on the old website. For current information about the MIT CMSE X-ray facility, please visit our new webiste at

Welcome to the homepage for the X-Ray Diffraction SEF

RU-300 Now Running on Chromium

The RU-300 instrument has received an upgrade! A new chromium anode has been installed. X-rays from chromium have a longer wavelength than those from copper, which eliminates the problems of absorption and fluorescence from materials containing iron and cobalt. However, you can expect your diffraction peaks to show up at higher values of 2Theta. In addition, you may need to scan for a longer time to achieve the same signal to noise ratio. For data analysis in HighScore Plus, you will want to set the X-ray wavelength to chromium under the Document Settings window.

New Website Beta

The website is getting an upgrade. You can preview the new website at Please note that not all pages are complete. However, if you encounter any bugs or glitches please send Josh Guske an email!

Change in Staffing at the CMSE X-Ray SEF

Scott Speakman has left MIT for a position as Principal Scientist at PANalytical. Until a permanent replacement is found, you may contact Charlie Settens ( for technical help in the X-ray lab. Please contact Susan Dalton ( for administrative help. You may contact Scott Speakman at his new email address,

The X-Ray SEF is now using the Coral lab management system for reserving instruments and billing time.

In order to reserve and use instruments in the X-Ray SEF, or any other CMSE lab, you must create an account in MUMMS (our user management system) and download the Coral remote client for reserving the instrument and logging instrument use time.

You will find instructions on creating a MUMMS account and on using Coral here.

Click here to check the Lab Calendar for Lab Closings in the Winter.

Several events may change the availabilty of the instruments and lab during the semester.

  • When SEF staff are at seminars or conferences, the X-ray lab will be unsupervised. The lab doors will be unlocked, as usual, from 9 am to 5 pm. All users are allowed to reserve and operate the equipment. However, there will be no staff members available to help you with the instruments or with data analysis.
  • When the X-Ray lab is closed, the lab doors remain locked. Only users with after-hours privileges can reserve and operate the equipment.
  • Sometimes the lab is used for academic classes. The calender will list the class number (eg 3.014) and where the class will be meeting. That area of the lab or computer analysis room will have restricted access while the class is in session.

When the X-ray lab is unsupervised or closed, the X-ray diffractometers will be configured in their default configurations. If you are authorized you to change the configuration then you may, but you must return the system to its default configuration when you are done. If you want to use a different configuration but have not been trained and authorized to change the instrument configuration, then you must wait until SEF staff are available to help you before you use the instrument.

  • The PANalytical X'Pert Pro will be configured with the OEC sample stage and high-speed optics.
  • The Bruker HRXRD will be configured with the Ge(022)x4 monochromator and Pathfinder detector system.
  • The Bruker GADDS will be set at a 16 cm distance for powder difraction and WAXS.


Our Collaboration with the MIT Dept. of Chemistry

The CMSE single crystal diffractometer is located in Dr. Peter Müller's lab in Bldg 2-325. This collaboration between the CMSE and the Dept. of Chemistry will provide better support for our users interested in single crystal diffraction. CMSE users will pay Peter Müller and the Dept. of Chemistry for use of the instrument; however, they will enjoy the same discounted rate as members of the Dept. of Chemistry and will be able to leverage the expertise of Dr. Müller.

The X-Ray Lab is Open from 9 am to 5 pm on normal business days.

Dr. Charlie Settens is available to assist users:
Monday through Friday
from 9:15 am to 4:45 pm
by appointment or by chance

Test for Remote Coral