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Dutch Workgroup on Powder Diffraction

In 1988 the Workgroup on Powder Diffraction (WPD) of the Dutch Crystallographic Assn (NVK) was founded in order to exchange information about the functionality and availability of powder diffraction software, and to develope standardization of data formats. Because no easily accessible well-developed powder diffraction database was available, the Dutch WPD decided to start a database. For lack of money and because of the improved availability of software via the WWW the Dutch WPD stopped this activity which was taken over by the Information Exchange Bank.

The Dutch WPD advocated adopting the JCAMP-DX format as a standard in powder diffraction, however, CIF format has become the standard. The Dutch WPD is currently participating in a project for the standardisation of powder diffraction methods of CEN, the European committee for the development of standards. In an ad hoc group representatives of several European countries write standard procedures to measure and evaluate powder diffraction data.

The Dutch WPD organizes powder diffraction meetings and contributed to the organization of EPDIC-2 in Enschede in 1992. Since 1991, a biennial (every other year) one-day meeting is organised for Dutch speaking powder diffractionists.

On the 12th anniversary of the founding of the Dutch WPD a meeting was held on March 23, 2001 at the U. of Utrecht. Speakers focused on the development of X-ray optics and hardware during the last decade. Topics included the future of powder diffraction in the Netherlands (R. Delhez, TUD), optical elements in powder diffraction (C. Reiss. Philips Analytical B.V.), the applicability of 2-dimensional detectors in powder diffraction (E. Hovestreyd, Bruker), micro and macro X-ray sources (F. van Meurs, Nonius), the possibilities of a synchrotron (H. Graafsma, ESRF), and the capabilities of the X’celerator, a new fast linear X-ray detector (M. Fransen, Philips Analytical B.V.). Technical developments of the last decade are opening new fields and the WPD plans to continue its support to the Dutch powder diffraction community to explore new opportunities.

Roelie Olthof-Hazekamp
Sec. Nat’l Committee Crystallography, Netherlands