Enraf Nonius Cad 4 Turbo X-ray Diffractometer



Enraf Nonius Cad 4 Turbo X-ray Diffractometer


X-ray Crystallography


Physical Description:

Machine is black, white and gray with a square base. The back of the base has several slots for the cords to be attached. On the back side is also a long thin piece of silver metal with inscriptions SERIE NR., U.S.PAT. 3.636.347, and BRIT.PAT. 1.267.440. One side of the base has two metal boxes attached an equal distance apart horizontally and centered vertically. On the base stands two separate columns. The first column is bent in the middle forming the shape of a V. This column has three lights on top with the words x-rays on, shutter closed, and shutter opened. One of three lasers is attached to this column as well. On the area of the column that the laser is located is also a chunk of metal with the inscription SIEMENS, Type, Nr, 60 kV, kW, and MADE IN GERMANY. About one third of this piece of metal is yellow with the inscription CAUTION X-RAYS, THIS EQUIPMENT PRODUCES X-RAYS WHEN ENERGIZED. On the opposite side of the machine is a black flat piece of metal with a circular area and a longer narrower area. In the middle of the circular area is a pillar that holds the mineral specimen. In this area is also a microscope attached to the base, as well as a circular piece of silver metal with numbers inscribed along the edges. Along the narrower area of the flat black piece is a second column, which looks like the first column. This column holds only a laser, which is located directly across from the laser on the first column, and two slots for the cords. There is a small bar that begins right before the laser that attaches column one to column two.

Functional Description:

To operate the x-ray diffractometer, a small crystal sample is loaded into a glass container and then placed in the path of the x-rays. A computer is then used to start up the machine, which takes about 3 days to run. At the end of the 3 days, an image is produced which shows the diffraction pattern of the sample.
The crystals in the sample diffract the x-rays in multiple directions, which then shows up on the image produced. This pattern can then be used to produce an image of electron density within the crystal, which leads to an image of the exact positioning of the atoms within the crystal as well as the locations of chemical bonds.


Sean Golden, Caleb Korson, Alex Person, Stefan RhodeHumphries


c. 1973


Physical Object



Physical Dimensions

Base: 43.18 cm x 39.37 cm x 19.05 cm

Right side: 8.89 cm x 31.115 cm x 8.89 cm

Left Side: 5.715 cm x 36.195 cm x 43.18 cm

Diameter of circle on base: 50.8 cm

Distance between X-ray transmitter and receiver: 25.4 cm

Telescope piece: 19.685 cm long

Red X-Ray box: 8 cm x 8 cm x 8 cm

Green box: 4 cm x 4 cm x 4 cm

Transmitter length: 9 cm

Receiver length: 7 cm


Steel, Plastic, Glass


This instument was manufactured in Germany by Eraf Nonius, a company based in Rotterdam, Netherlands


  • U.S.PAT. 3.636.347 l BRIT.PAT. 1.267.440 (this inscription is located on the front of the instrument)
  • SERIE NR. (this inscription is located on the front of the instrument)
  • SIEMENS l Type K FFM0 2K 190 l Nr. 898210 l 60Kv 2.v.0 kW l MADE IN GERMANY l CAUTION X-RAYS l THIS EQUIPMENT PRODUUCES l X-RAYS WHEN ENERGIZED  (this inscription is located on the right side of the instrument)

History of the Object

Dr. Rudy Luck, a chemistry professor at Michigan Technological University, explained the history of this instrument. A company called Enraf Nonius manufactured it around the year 1973. This was a state of the art single photon detection device at the time. This device came to Michigan Tech secondhand in 1998. Dr. Luck purchased it from Nonius with a grant. He was not aware of where it had been before it came to Michigan Tech. He did know that wherever the instrument had been before Michigan Tech it had been replaced by a newer multiple photon detection device. This is why it had been returned to Nonius, allowing it to be purchased by Dr. Luck. The diffractometer is not used as much today as it was when it was originally puchased by Dr. Luck. This is because as the technology has advanced it has become quicker and cheaper to send samples away to a seperate lab for testing that it is to wait the 3 days for the sample to be analyzed in the Nonius. With that said, the machine is still used and is just as accurate as the newer machines that have been produced.


Chemical Sciences and Engineering Building, Rm. 703


Laue, Max Von. "Röntgenstrahl-Interferenzen". Leipzig: Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft, 1941.

Ewald, Peter Paue. "Max von Laue." Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 6 (November 1960): 135-56. Accessed March 21, 2017. http://rsbm.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/roybiogmem/6/134.

Maugh, Thomas H. "X-ray Crystallography: 3-D Structures by Optical Computing." Science 195, no. 4276 (1977): 384. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1743289.

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Sean Golden, Caleb Korson, Alex Person, Stefan RhodeHumphries, “Enraf Nonius Cad 4 Turbo X-ray Diffractometer,” Michigan Tech Inventory of Historic Scientific Instruments, accessed May 7, 2021, https://ihsi.omeka.net/items/show/7.