Quantitative Powder XRD Phase Analysis Software for Windows
Page updated: October 31st 2006
Contents of this page
We have released an update to Siroquant version 2.5 to fix reports of problems with Windows XP and Windows 2000. To download the update go to the updates page
Siroquant Version 3.0
The new version of Siroquant, Version 3.0 is currently in the final stages of testing prior to release. Special upgrade pricing is available to users of earlier versions. For further details please see the updated features list below
Rietveld Made Easy
The book has finally been published! This book is designed as a practical guide to the fundamentals of crystallography as applied to Rietveld analysis and is a essential companion to the User Guide supplied with the software. The introduction to the book is available here as a PDF document. Copies of the book can be ordered directly from Sietronics.
Siroquant Version 3.0
The key features of this release are:
Expanded Crystal Structure Database: The database will consist of approx 1700 entries covering a much wider range of minerals than any of the earlier versions. Expanded Clay Database
Full 32-bit version: This new version is a full 32-bit program and has been completely rewritten for the new platform. Long file names are fully supported and used in V3.
Multiple Document Interface: More than one task may be open at any time and more than one task may be refined at any time.
Many user options can now be set and forget for the application: new features include a most recently used task list for easy access to tasks, use of refined backgrounds, automatically show the results, chi squared dialogs at the end of task refinement.
Tools available for task and cpi editing: Add-on tools for easy repathing of task files and editing of cpi files.
Indefinite limits: There is no longer a prescribed limit on the number of phases in a task; number of hkl lines in a hkl file; or the number of data points in a pattern. The pattern readings may be any real value, not just integers.
Flexible tasks: The task may contain phases that can be excluded from refinement. This allows some experimentation without losing previously refined values.
Direct phase selection for tasks: Phases in the database can be selected for a task without the need to generate a hkl file first.
Overlaying Scans: You can now overlay other pattern files in the current task.
“Modelling” of patterns: Patterns can be modeled and displayed
Key Features of Siroquant
Siroquant is currently being used by many industrial, scientific and academic organisations around the world. It has a logical user friendly Windows interface including extensive on-line help. It requires a Windows PC (minimum 386DX processor) running Windows 3.x, Windows 9x or Windows NT. The Windows version of the program has been available since 1993 and has been extensively debugged during this time. The system is equally useful for industrial and research applications.
Profile Functions: Siroquant supports Gaussian and Lorentzian (and any mixture of the two) peak shapes using the Pearson VII and Pseudo-Voigt profile functions. The March preferred orientation parameter is also refinable.
Refinable Profile Parameters:
Refinements can be performed in several stages with different combinations of varied parameters.
An automatic refinement procedure (Auto-prescale) is also available and produces good ball park estimates for most samples as well as a providing a basis for further refinements.
Siroquant contains an absorption/contrast correction which is essential for quantitative phase analysis. Major analytical error can occur without this correction.
The software uses Bragg-Brentano geometry calibration curves, this is essential where strong low-angle XRD peaks are present. Corrections of 2 x peak height are common at low angles. Siroquant allows Rietveld analysis on minerals without a published crystal structure using a unique program structure featuring observed HKL files. This allows the analysis of poorly crystalline clays.
The program can be used to analyse mixtures of up to 25 minerals. (Cement analysis requires >15 phases). The program has includes "Anomalous Dispersion" corrections for the correction of resonance effects in the absorption of x-rays.
Siroquant has a robust least squares refinement scheme. Automatic staged refinement was recommended by industrial users to allow automatic plant analysis using a sequence of various refinements from a poorly defined starting point. Up to 100 variables can be refined in each cycle. (Note: refinement of an excessive number of variables in one stage increases the probability of an incorrect fit).
There are around 1700 industrially important minerals in the Siroquant data base. Additional phases can be added by users with a background in Crystallography by following a set of instructions in the manual or by Sietronics.
The manual has been assembled by users and technical experts to provide an easy to follow reference and a strong technical reference guide including a comprehensive list of references.
Diffractometer calibration curves can be supplied to correct for intensity aberrations in Bragg-Brentano diffractometers. As the upwards revision of diffractometer intensity at low angles can be as high as a factor of about 5, calibration is important for clay and zeolite work (see Taylor & Matulis, Powder Diffraction, Vol 7, pages 89 - 94 (1992) ).
The package allows up to 25 phases to be quantified at any one time with refinement of up to 100 variables in each stage.
Crystallite size can be calculated by the Scherrer equation and amorphicity can be determined with the addition of a spike phase.
Dual halfwidths are allowed for each phase allowing for sharp and diffuse reflections caused by disorder. This feature is essential when quantifying clay minerals as well as other classes of minerals.
Siroquant has wide acceptance in industry. Siroquant is relatively easy to use and has a large enthusiastic user base. The package is being used by major companies in the cement and aluminium industries including:
Back to Contents
Unique Features of the Siroquant software
Siroquant has some unique features not found in other Rietveld programs, because it has been designed for quantitative analysis whereas the other packages have been developed primarily for structure analysis.
Among these unique features:
In principle, any mineral can be included into the Siroquant data base whether its crystal structure is known or not.
Back to Contents
Siroquant calculates a theoretical XRD profile and fits it to the measured pattern by full-matrix least-squares refinement of the following Rietveld parameters: phase scales, line asymmetry, phase preferred orientation, phase linewidths (U,V,W), instrument zero, the lineshape parameter for each phase, and the phase unit cell dimensions.
The program also corrects for the effects of particle size and absorption contrast (Brindley corrections) and an optional internal standard addition (spike) allows the calculation of overall amorphous content. Individual phase amorphicities can also be included.
A readily expandable file, the Crystal Structure Databank, contains the information necessary to quantify 304 common minerals and 17 observed hkl files, mostly for clays.
Back to Contents
Measured Patterns as Standards
Normally, crystal structure data is needed to quantify a mineral with the Rietveld method. However, minerals with unknown or imperfectly known crystal structures (eg. clays), can still be quantified with Siroquant Version 2. To do this an "observed (hkl) file" is used, instead of the normal calculated file, to give a standard Rietveld profile for the mineral. The results in Table 4 on the test applications were obtained with a measured (hkl) file for montmorillonite.
Observed (hkl) files for use with Siroquant Version 2 have been prepared for clays (montmorillonite, kaolin, illite, halloysite, palygorskite, etc), cement phases and pseudorutile. This completely new Rietveld approach is described in Taylor and Zhu Rui (1992) and Taylor and Aldridge (1993) (see references).
Back to Contents
Siroquant Program Dimensions and Recommended PC Specifications
Up to 25 minerals are allowed in a sample. This complexity can occur in some materials such as bauxite, or coal ashes. The pattern can have up to 10,000 steps and 650 reflections are allowed for each mineral phase.
The system runs on an IBM-compatible PC 386 or 486 computer with at least 4Mb of RAM, WINDOWS 3.1, and DOS 5.0. It also runs on Windows 3.x, Win 9x and NT. A minimum PC configuration of a 100MHz Pentium Processor with 8Mbyte of RAM is recommended.
Back to Contents
Test Applications and Results:
Siroquant has been tested with many standard mixtures and used to quantify phases in beach sands, Portland cement, flyash, coal ash, opal C-T, clays. sandstones, slags, bauxites, china clays, zeolites, zirconia ceramics etc. Detailed applications notes have been prepared for Cement Fly ash, Opalised quartz-tridymite-cristobalite Clays, Sandstones and Boiler Slag - these are available from Sietronics.
Table 1: Portland Cement Results:
Results for Two Standard Portland Cements El and E2. Siroquant Version 2 results are compared with microscope grain counts. The cement minerals are given their usual shortened trade names.
|Cement Standard||Analysis Method||C3S||ß-C2S||C3A||C4AF|
|E1||Siroquant||69.0 (1.0)||14.2 (0.7)||2.0 (0.7)||4.4 (0.7)||7.2 (0.6)|
|Grain Counting||71.1 (3.4)||12.8 (7.6)||6.7 (1.3) (sum)||9.5 (2.4)|
|E2||Siroquant||79.2 (0.9)||7.2 (0.6)||0.3 (1.3)||8.3 (0.4)||3.3 (0.6)|
|Grain Counting||80.7 (3.4)||7.7 (2.6)||6.3 (1.3) (sum)||4.9 (2.4)|
Table 2: Results for some standard mixtures:
Siroquant errors are on the last significant digit. Mu/sigma is the mass absorption coefficient for CoKa.
Table 3: Albite/Tourmaline Mixtures:
5% amorphicity is assumed in the Tourmaline
|16.0||15.6 (0.2)||84.0||84.4 (0.2)|
|34.0||34.0 (0.2)||66.0||66.0 (0.2)|
|49.9||49.3 (0.2)||50.1||50.7 (0.2)|
|67.8||66.4 (0.3)||32.2||33.6 (0.2)|
|84.0||84.8 (0.4)||16.0||15.2 (0.4)|
Table 4: Quartz-Montmorillonite Standard Mixtures (Algerian Bentonite):
Corrected for Kaolin and Phlogopite impurities in the Quartz.
Back to Contents
Portland Cement Analysis:
Observed Patterns as Rietveld Standards:
Bragg-Brentano Intensity Calibration Curves:
General Quantitative Analysis:
Liz Goodall & Natasha Wright: Rietveld Methods of Refinement for Zinc Oxide, Poster paper presented at Broome Crystallography Conference 2003, Broome, Australia, August 2003.
Timothy E Payne, Willem K. Bertram, Takashi Itakura and Mark D. Raven (2002): Relationship of quantitative X-ray diffraction measurements of geologic materials to cesium sorption, Radiochim. Acta 90, 705-711.
Chuan-De Ruan, Colin R. Ward (2001): Quantitative X-ray powder diffraction analysis of clay minerals in Australian coals using Rietveld methods, Applied Clay Science 776.
Ward C.R., Taylor J.C., Matulis C.E., Dale, L.S. (2001:) Quantitation of mineral matter in the Argonne Premium Coals using interactive Rietveld-based X-ray diffraction, International Journal of Coal Geology, 46, p 67-82.
Ward C.R. et al (1999) Mineral Matter and trace elements in coals of the Gunnedah Basin, New South Wales, Australia, International Journal of Coal Geology, 40, p 281-308.
Ward C.R., Taylor J.C., Cohen D.R. (1999) Quantitative Mineralogy Of Sandstones By X-Ray Diffractometry And Normative Analysis, Journal of Sedimentary Research, 69(5), p 1050.
Jackman J.M., Jones, R.C, Yost, R.S and Babcock, C.J (1997): Rietveld Estimates of Mineral Percentages to Predict Phosphate Sorption by Selected Hawaiian Soils. Soil Sci Soc Am J 61 pp 618-625
Tilley, D.B, Barrows, T.T, Zimmerman, E.C (1997): Bauxitic Insect Pupal cases
from Northern Australia, Alcheringa, 21 pp 157-160
Dunbar, G, Ness, S, Freeman, R (1997): Quantitative Mineralogy of Marine Sediments, Private Communication James Cook University
Bierlein, F.P.et al (2000): Wall Rock Petrology and Geochemistry in Alteration Halos Associated with Mesothermal Gold Mineralization, Centreal Victoria, Australia, Economic Geology 95 pp 283-312
Back to Contents
Siroquant can be purchased from Sietronics or from our agents as listed below in the designated countries
Please feel free to contact us at: email@example.com