The Advanced Photon Source
a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science User Facility

SRS Courses

2022 X-ray Powder Diffraction and Pair Distribution Function Data Analysis Course

Date: October 5, 2022.

Location: Advanced Photon Source, in-person only

The course will be joined with this year's Pittsburgh Diffraction Conference, and will be a full day workshop covering basics of powder X-ray diffraction and pair distribution function (PDF) with two parallel hands-on sessions on Rietveld refinement and PDF analysis. This will be a beginning level course. We will cover Rietveld, Pawley refinement and sequential refinement in the XRD hands-on session; PDF data reduction and small box PDF fitting in the PDF session. Course participants need to bring their own laptops with GSAS-II, PDFgetX2 and/or PDFgui software preinstalled. Installation guide will be given to participants before the course. Registration is through this year's Pittsburgh Diffraction Conference website, click here, and must be with registration of the main event. A preliminary agenda of the conference and the course can be found here

Instructors: Robert Von Dreele, Olaf Borkiewicz, Kamila Wiaderek, Andrey Yakovenko, Tiffany Kinnibrugh and Wenqian Xu

Please note this coming course is not intended to be as comprehensive or as advanced level as our 2020 course. The 2020 course materials are available here, where one can find all the lecture notes, exercises, edited video recordings.

2020 X-ray Powder Diffraction and Pair Distribution Function Data Analysis Course

Dates: November 2 - November 5, 2020, 8:30 am - 5 pm.

Location: Virtual

This four-day course is to teach participants basic and advanced data analysis methods of powder X-ray diffraction (XRD) and total scattering for pair distribution function (PDF) analysis of inorganic materials. The XRD section, running through the first two days of the course, will use the GSAS-II software as the platform to teach Rietveld refinement and solving crystal structures. Topics including phase quantification, size and strain analysis, sequential refinement, indexing, Pawley refinement, etc., will be covered. The PDF section will focus on steps and strategies required for successful collection and reduction of X-ray data for subsequent PDF analysis – from integration to peak fitting to real-space Rietveld refinement. All activities related to the PDF section will be carried out using open-source programs, such as GSAS-II, PDFgetX2 and PDFgui.

The course has a main emphasis on hands-on exercises on computers. Therefore, participants must bring their own laptops. Participants are encouraged to take advantage of the mail-in programs at 11-BM, 11-ID-B and/or 17-BM beamlines ( before coming to the course. In addition to computer exercises, a tour of the Advanced Photon Source and the XRD and PDF beamlines in the Structural Science Group will be offered to participants during the course. However, participants should not bring samples to the course, as there will not be experiment time during the course.

The course is open to all applicants with a bachelor degree or higher. The enrollment will be on a "first come first served" basis until the class is full. Applicants are expected to have used XRD and/or PDF in their past or current work. As this course will be held onsite at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), participation in the course is conditional on ANL site access being granted. The course has a registration fee of $60, and does not provide meals. Participants are responsible for their own travel and lodging arrangement and expense.

Please note, the course will not teach analysis of macromolecular compounds, such as proteins or polymers.

Instructors: Robert Von Dreele, Brian Toby, Saul Lapidus, Olaf Borkiewicz, Kamila Wiaderek, Leighanne Gallington, Andrey Yakovenko, Wenqian Xu and Tiffany Kinnibrugh

If you have any questions, please contact Wenqian Xu at

The 2020 course materials are now available here, where one can find all the lecture notes, exercises, edited video recordings and the course schedule. (updated on 9/26/2021)