Bruker diffractometer maintenance

At any one time, the group assigns one person to look after the day-to-day operation of our Bruker D8 Discover diffractometer. There are three main tasks:

Our Bruker D8 Discover diffractometer

Good lab practice

Ensure that the lab is kept tidy without unlabeled samples nor loose razor blades. Pay particular care to ensure that delicate optical components are not left in unsafe locations. Only non-toxic and non-radioactive samples are allowed – please check with mark if you are unsure. Nanomaterials are also forbidden.

Switch off Bruker during the monthly generator test

Approximately once a month, there is a building generator test that causes a power dip to the whole building. In order to avoid damage to machine we must ensure that the system is off during these tests. Speak to Mark or Lynn Cohen to get the schedule.

Cooling water maintenance

The x-ray tube is cooled by three water circuits. An internal closed circuit within the Bruker cools the tube itself. This circuit is cooled by the Haskris unit. We replace the water in both circuits every six months and clean the mesh filter every three months. The Haskris unit dumps its heat into the processed chilled water provided by the building.

Internal closed circuit

The water in this circuit should be exchanged every six months and the filter cleaned every three months. Follow these steps:

Clean the mesh filter

  1. With the system powered down, reach inside the reservoir to the front of the unit, gently pull off the wire mesh filter. Make sure you only touch this mesh on the metal ring and do not squeeze the delicate mesh. Sonicate the mesh in a solvent such as ethanol/acetone and then distilled water in lab 230. If the water appears especially dirty ask Mark, it might be worth exchanging the water in the circuit.

Replace the cooling water

  1. Removing the water from the system can be done in two ways depending on what you find most convenient:
    a) Switch off and unplug the system. Insert the shop vac into the water reservoir and suck out the water. Remember that the filter inside the shop vac should be removed in order to avoid getting it wet.
    b) With the tube off, unplug the quick connectors at the tube head and inset the spare quick connects to keep the ball valves open. In order to remove the water, operate the pump using the service mode of the tools page in the Bruker software.
  2. Refill the reservoir distilled water by pouring additional water into the reservoir. Take care to avoid splashes. If needed, use the small beaker. There should be spare water under the desk in 233. Ask Mark if you need to buy more water.


  1. Switch off and unplug the Haskris. Open the water reservoir on the front via the screw-lid and inspect how clean the water is. Remove the panel on the left hand side of the chiller when looking from the front. Use the tap to drain the water from the unit. If there is debris at the bottom of the tank, consider agitating the water before transferring it.
  2. Replace the water with distilled water by pouring additional water into the reservoir. Take care to avoid splashes here and find a small beaker if needed! There should be some under the desk. Ask Mark if you need to buy more.
  3. We are currently installing an additional filter in this circuit. Please check it every six months and replace as necessary.