Development of high-pressure single-crystal neutron diffraction on KOALA
This thesis project has focused on the development of high-pressure single-crystal diffraction experiments on the neutron Laue diffractometer KOALA at the OPAL reactor at ANSTO, Australia. Over the course of this project several candidate systems have been studied under conditions of high-pressure using X-ray diffraction with a view to their use in developmental experiments on KOALA. The results of two high-pressure KOALA experiments are presented as well as the notable results from X-ray diffraction on the candidate systems. The first experiment on hexamethylenetetramine provided valuable insights into how reduced crystallite size and reciprocal-space access affects data collected on KOALA. In addition, data treatment techniques were developed to deal with the unique and challenging high-pressure Laue data, including corrections for attenuation due to the cell body. The ability to collect data through the body of cell prompted a further experiment on the complex, low-symmetry structure of the amino acid l-arginine dihydrate. Despite the smaller crystal size and dominant parasitic scattering from the diamond-anvil cell, the data collected allow a full anisotropic refinement of hexamethylenetetramine with bond lengths and angles that agree with literature data within experimental error. This technique is highly suited to low-symmetry crystals, as shown by the successful refinement of data from a l-arginine dihydrate crystal. In such cases the transmission of diffracted beams results in higher completeness values than are possible with X-rays. The hydrogen-bonded ferroelectric rubidium hydrogensulfate was the subject of ambient-pressure experiments on KOALA investigating the nature of the ferroelectric transition. Further high-pressure X-ray diffraction studies were carried out to resolve the structures of phases at high-pressure and to investigate the ferroelectric transition under pressure. The potassium cobalt citrate metal-organic framework UTSA-16 has shown a wide variety of pressure-mediated framework-solvent interactions including negative linear compressibility, the ordering of potassium ions, and coordination changes which were investigated by high-pressure single-crystal and powder X-ray diffraction. These behaviors are rationalised by examination of the structural changes occurring in the framework under pressure. Two members of the widely studied alkylammonium tetrachlorometallate family, tetramethylammonium tetrachloroferrate(III) and tetramethylammonium tetrachlorogallate(III), display numerous phase transitions with temperature. The structures of these phases have been determined for the first time, and the contrast between the two materials explored with first-principles calculations.