diffpy.pdfgetx is a simple yet powerful software for converting X-ray or neutron powder diffraction data to atomic Pair Distribution Functions (PDFs). In addition, it also allows the extraction of PDFs from small-angle scattering (SAS) data. The software includes three command line programs PDFgetX3, PDFgetN3 and PDFgetS3 for processing X-ray, constant-wavelength neutron and small-angle diffraction data respectively. PDFgetX3, PDFgetN3 and PDFgetS3 can be used in a batch mode to convert a series of data files without user intervention. The programs can be also run in an interactive mode that allows to control process parameters and plot the PDFs and any intermediate results. Users can interactively tune the PDF processing parameters, visualize their effect on the results and adjust them to their optimum values. The programs are bundled with Python library diffpy.pdfgetx for PDF processing functions, which can be used in custom Python scripts.

License notice

Use of this software is subject to and permitted only under a separate, written Use License granted by Columbia University. If you or your employer is not a party to such an agreement, then your use of this software is prohibited. If you don’t know whether or not your anticipated use is under a license, you must contact Prof. Simon Billinge at Use of this software without a license is prohibited.

Copyright 2009-2020, Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York.

For more information please email Prof. Simon Billinge at


This code was written by members of the Billinge Group at Columbia University and Brookhaven National Laboratory including Pavol Juhás, Timur Davis, Chia-Hao (Timothy) Liu, Christopher Wright, Christopher Farrow, Hung Vuong, Songsheng Tao, Simon Billinge.


If you use this program for a scientific research that leads to publication, we ask that you acknowledge use of the program by citing the following paper in your publication:

P. Juhás and T. Davis, C. L. Farrow, S. J. L. Billinge PDFgetX3: A rapid and highly automatable program for processing powder diffraction data into total scattering pair distribution functions, J. Appl. Crystallogr. 46, 560-566 (2013)

For research publications that use this software to process neutron diffraction data we ask you to also cite:

P. Juhás, J. N. Louwen, L. van Eijck, E. T. C. Vogt, S. J. L. Billinge PDFgetN3: atomic pair distribution functions from neutron powder diffraction data using ad hoc corrections, J. Appl. Crystallogr. 51 (2018)

For research publications utilising the sasPDF utility, PDFGetS3, we ask you to acknowledge the use of the program by citing following paper in your publication:

CH Liu, E. Janke, R. Li, P. Juhás, O. Gang, D. V. Talapin, S. J. L. Billinge sasPDF: pair distribution function analysis of nanoparticle assemblies from small-angle-scattering data.