Some Bristol-Prague explorations in X-ray topography

AR Lang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This paper briefly chronicles a long-standing and productive collaboration between the Institute of Physics, Czech Academy of Science and the H H Wills Physics Laboratory. It began in early 1962 with a brief visit to Bristol by Milena Polcarová. The initial aim, successfully achieved, was the mapping by transmission topography of dislocations in melt-grown single crystals of a Fe-Si alloy. A novel by-product was the x-ray topographic observation of internal magnetic domain structures in specimen plates prepared in both (110) and (112) orientations. In the alloy studied, which contained about 3 wt% Si, the directions of easy magnetization are (100) , and domain boundaries are either 180° or 90° Bloch walls. The latter walls can generate strong x-ray diffraction contrast, but no contrast from 180° walls is expected. In the (110) plates x-ray topography revealed complex internal domain structures containing 90° walls, some previously unsuspected on evidence of optical micrography of colloid patterns (Bitter patterns). Certain details of these structures remain a puzzle to this day! In (112) specimens, in which no direction of easy magnetization lies in the plate surface, the specimen is filled with a hierarchy of domains, diminishing in scale towards the surfaces in order to minimize magnetostatic energy due to free poles. However, in (112) plate thicknesses less than ~20μm, x-ray topographs recorded internal domain structures sufficiently uncomplicated for their main features to be interpreted. This was achieved by F C Frank in the early 1960s, but not published till 1993! During a 1968 visit to Bristol by Polcarová it was discovered that under appropriate diffraction conditions x-ray topographic contrast from 180° Bloch walls was just detectable. This finding was not published till 1991. More recent work with Prague specimens has applied synchrotron x-ray reticulography at Daresbury, showing that this technique can be informatively used with lightly-deformed Fe-Si bicrystals. A very different enterprise was the Bristol method of producing x-ray moiré patterns by superposing one crystal plate upon another, achieved in 1967. This project gained from Czech collaboration through the skilful participation of J Brádler, on leave from Prague.
Translated title of the contributionSome Bristol-Prague explorations in X-ray topography
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)A1 - A6
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2005

Bibliographical note

Publisher: IOP Publishing Limited
Other identifier: Issue 10A

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Some Bristol-Prague explorations in X-ray topography'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this