A novel identification technique suited to security screening of liquid and amorphous substances with x-ray diffraction (XRD) is presented. The starting point is to fit the high momentum region (independent atom regime) of the XRD profile with a free-atom scatter function corresponding most closely to the effective atomic number of the sample. The Percus-Yevick formulation of the molecular interference function for hard-sphere liquids then enables features to be extracted from liquid/amorphous XRD profiles. These features correspond to such molecular structure parameters as effective particle radius, packing fraction, effective atomic number, particle homogeneity and inter-particle potential. Amorphous substances may thus be classified into functional groups such as oxidisers and fuels. These considerations are illustrated with synchrotron XRD measurements of acetone and hydrogen peroxide, implicated in the London "transatlantic aircraft plot" of 2006 and representative of hazardous liquid fuel and oxidizer combinations.
"Liquids identification with x-ray diffraction", Proc. SPIE 6707, Penetrating Radiation Systems and Applications VIII, 67070T (24 September 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.740290; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.740290