Meeting report

EPDIC IX

Prague, Czech Rep., August 2004

[EPDIC IX logo]The 9th European Powder Diffraction Conference and the Size-Strain IV workshop were held together in Prague at the Czech Technical U., Faculty of Civil Engineering.

The workshop, held August 31 - September 2, followed the tradition of previous conferences in Slovakia (1995), Germany (1998) and Italy (2001). The workshop was organized around X-ray powder diffraction, line-profile analysis and determination of grain size and strain including its relation to texture and stress. Main lectures given by R. Kuzel, N. Armstrong and P. Scardi were devoted to reviews of dislocation and size diffraction line broadening as well as whole powder pattern modeling for the study of nanocrystalline and imperfect materials. Approximately 90 participants attended the workshop. The XRD analysis of nanocrystalline powders and thin films as well as severely deformed materials was discussed (D. Rafaja, R. Pielaszek, Z. Kaszkur, J. Gubicza, A. Leineweber, J. Rodriguez-Carvajal, A. Borbély, A. Boulle). The workshop ended with a discussion, organized by the workshop chair, P. Scardi, on the problems of line profile analysis. Participants felts that the tradition of working Size-Strain meetings should definitely continue.

[Photograph]EPDIC IX started with a workshop organized by L.M. Cranswick. He is famous for his enthusiasm in the field of (mainly free) crystallographic software distribution, maintaining the CCP14 site as the CCP14 secretary for many years and for organizing software workshops during the IUCr and ECA meetings. After several workshops on structure refinement, this time the program was split into two half-day sessions – size-strain software and phase analysis software. The workshop was free for the Size-Strain and EPDIC registered participants and more than 150 participants listened to 14 short presentations. Both commercial (Bruker Topas, Panalytical HighScore, Bergmann BGMN) and free software were presented. Some of it is of general purpose including size-strain and phase analysis, other is rather special. Both phenomenological size-strain and phase analysis is included in Rietveld type programs such as Fullprof (Rodriguez-Carvajal) and Maud (Lutteroti). It also seemed appropriate to discuss line profile analysis and whole powder pattern modeling (fitting) including a physically realistic microscopic description. This approach was presented by M. Leoni (PM2k) and G. Ribárik (CMWP - fit).

The third workshop on new trends in the development of databases was organized by J. Faber (ICDD).

[Food]No one went hungry at the socials.
The program started each day with two plenary lectures. In total, there was six invited talks: A. Fitch (ESRF, Grenoble) on high-resolution diffraction, U. Welzel (Stuttgart) on diffraction stress analysis, L. McCusker (Zurich) on exploiting preferred orientation to resolve overlapping reflections, T. Ungar (Budapest) on nanocrystalline materials, G. Vaughan (ESRF) on a multicrystal approach to crystal structure solution and H. Ehrenberg (Darmstadt) on in-situ characterization of materials.

[Favre-Nicolin]Vincent Favre-Nicolin
The plenaries were followed by two parallel sessions. All posters were displayed during the entire conference. Poster sessions during and after lunch, gave enough time for discussion. The topics of the parallel microsymposia were: structure solution from powder diffraction; methods and application, stress, strain and texture analysis, neutron diffraction - instruments and applications, phase transitions, non-ambient conditions, phase analysis, structure and properties of bio-materials, nanocrystalline materials, metals and alloys, minerals, thin films, techniques and instruments, indexing powder patterns and software.

[Photograph]Commercial exhibitions were open during most of the conference. Two sponsors, Panalytical and Bruker enabled the organizers to offer financial assistance to quite a few participants. Participation of young scientists was supported by the IUCr. Strong support was also given by the ICDD and Unisantis. The organizers would like to thank all of the sponsors, Huber, GBC, Stoe, XOS, GE Inspection Technologies, Inel, Osmic, Zentiva, Anton Paar, Oxford Cryosystems and Röntgenlabor Dr. Ermrich.

[Kuzel]Radomir Kuzel
During the conference two meetings were held: CPD (Commission for Powder Diffraction of the IUCr) and EPDIC committee (identical with a SIG8 of the ECA). In the latter meeting a new chairman of the committee was elected, J. Rius (Barcelona, Spain) as well as two vice-chairs - P. Scardi (Trento, Italy) and R. Cernik (Manchester, UK). P. Scardi is also the committee secretary.

The conference opened with a welcome evening in the Prague Congress Center and the traditional EPDIC award lecture. The award, sponsored by Panalytical, was given to Vincent Favre-Nicolin, the author of the FOX program and Crystal Object system. The lecture was followed by a musical performance by the Z-band, a mixed voice choir of the Prague secondary school.

The last day included a train trip to Pilsen and a tour and dinner in the Pilsen brewery.

It is difficult to select a time for the conference that doesn’t conflict with IUCr and ECA meetings. It was decided to attach it to the Budapest ECM meeting, which was convenient for some participants and companies but not for others. In the opinion of the EPDIC IX organizers it would be very reasonable, if the ECA would meeet in the year following the IUCr Congress and in the following year EPDIC and other specialized conferences and meetings could be organized. Future EPDIC organizers should try to attract more people from industry because this was the original idea behind the conference. At any rate, participation of more than 320 people from 36 countries in Europe, North and South America, Africa, Asia and Australia was quite good. In addition to 54 local participants, the highest number came from Germany (49), France (19), Sweden (18), UK (16), Hungary, Austria, and the Netherlands (13), Italy and USA (12) and Poland (10).

Additional information, including conference abstracts in html format, photos and a few video clips, is available at www.xray.cz/epdic. Approximately one hundred papers, 6 pages each, have been submitted for publication in the conference proceedings. They should appear within one year in a special issue of Zeitschrift für Kristallographie.

I would like to acknowledge the excellent work of the organizing committee. Namely, secretaries P. Rezácová and I. K. Smatanová, treasurer: J. Hašek, secretary for commercial presentations: Z. Šourek, and to members of the committee responsible for: accommodations - I. Císarová, refreshments: R. Králová, A. Župranová, trips: D. Havlícek, poster sessions: N. Ganev, also to S. Daniš, R. Gyepes, R. Novák, L. Kopecký.

The next conference, EPDIC X, will be held in September 2006 in Geneva, Switzerland. Information is available by contacting the organizer, R. Cerny, Radovan.Cerny@cryst.unige.ch.

R. Kuzel, Chairman of EPDIC IX