Nowadays, an impressively large number of powerful characterization techniques
is being used by physicists, chemists, biologists and engineers in order to
solve analytical research problems; especially those related to the investigation
of the properties of new materials for advanced applications. Although there
are a few available books which deal with such experimental techniques, they
are either too exhaustive and cover very few techniques or are too elementary
to provide a solid basis for learning to use the characterization technique.
Moreover, such books usually over-emphasize the textbook approach: being full
of theoretical concepts and mathematical derivations, and omitting the practical
instruction required in order to permit newcomers to use the techniques.
A major objective of the present work is therefore to provide key information
that is sufficient to permit the reader to carry out independent research using
these characterization techniques. The concise text not only includes classical
Diffraction, Spectroscopic and Microscopical techniques but also advanced state-of-the-art
techniques such as positron annihilation spectroscopy (PAS), small-angle neutron
scattering (SANS), small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and others. The work
consists of some 20 chapters; each dedicated to a particular technique, and
in the form of a compilation of lectures delivered by dedicated researchers
having extensive experience in using the particular technique. Each well-structured
chapter consists of a brief introduction to the working principles, ample background
references and a summary of the potential of the technique; plus its limitations.
A separate section is devoted to instrumentation; with explicit schematics for
each component. Other sections describe the pitfalls which can accompany physical
measurements, such as those related to sensitivity limits, precision and accuracy;
and also the practical difficulties faced by beginners (possible avenues of
error incorporation, choice of detector, slits, calibration, mode of standardization
etc.) plus useful tips for overcoming these difficulties. Examples are taken
from cutting-edge research areas and are discussed at length in order to show
how a particular technique can be used to solve such advanced problems.
This book will therefore provide the aspiring post-graduate/research student
with the flavor of a large number of characterization techniques, and researchers
who routinely use these techniques will now have a comprehensive and handy reference
guide to important working formulae and practical tips.. Finally, already-expert
technicians will be updated concerning the latest applications of the techniques
This is altogether an unique and invaluable publication.