SDPD Internet Course


The Le Mans University, although a quite young University, has soon been involved in powder diffraction (see some pictures) through the activities of two laboratories specialized in solid state physics and chemistry (CNRS units UPRES A 6087 and 6010).

Many previous publications of these labs deal with X-ray as well as neutron powder diffraction. The list of publications of the Fluoride Laboratory (UPRES A 6010) can be examined on Internet and searched by keywords.

SDPD (Structure Determination by Powder Diffractometry) is a recent sub-discipline in crystallography. Its impressive development in the ten last years was, in a small part, due to the proposition (1988) of a new method for extracting structure factors from a powder diffraction pattern at Le Mans (the so-called Le Bail method applying an iterative procedure to the Rietveld decomposition formula). This method, as well as the Pawley method, is not only used for extracting the "|Fobs|", but also for checking the cell parameters and space groups propositions.

The consequence of this long-term involvement is the international recognition of expertize, and the production of methods, software, conferences, tutorials and courses now distributed via Internet.

A preview of the SDPD Internet Course is freely available at :
or refurbished as conferences recently given at the Kunming (China) workshop organized by the IUCr (Structure Determination and Refinement from Powder Data) and at the IUCR XVIIIth congress, Glasgow (1999). Other conferences and texts on the subject are made available at :

However, these documents will only give a short idea of the present SDPD Internet Course, which will really allow interactive exchanges between teachers and students based on different exercises and texts.

Anyway, it is highly recommended to the SDPD Internet Course students to visit the above Web pages and to use the links inside (mainly toward the IUCr Web and the CCP14), but also to subscribe to the SDPD Mailing List as well as to the Rietveld Mailing List (of which the old archives may be consulted and searched by keywords on this site).

For other Internet courses in crystallography, see the IUCr corresponding Web page. The QTA Internet Course, also based in Le Mans, offers distance learning of quantitative texture analysis.