X-ray Reflectometer


Instrument Scientists:
Dr Stephen Holt
Dr Andrew Nelson
Dr Anton Le Brun
Instrument Phone 9717 3173

More Information on the X-ray Reflectometer:


See all the instruments at the Australian Centre for Neutron Scattering 

More information on X-ray Reflectometer



The X-ray reflectometer is a Panalytical X'Pert Pro instrument; it is capable of measuring reflectivity at air-solid or air-liquid interfaces. 


The X-ray reflectometry method provides information complementary to that from neutron reflectometry which is available at the neutron reflectometer PLATYPUS at the OPAL reactor.


The X-ray reflectometer is used for research on thin-films and surfaces, by the Australian scientific and industrial communities.


The sample geometry is horizontal, with (specular reflectivity) taking place in the vertical plane. It is suitable for the study of air-solid and air-liquid interfaces (i.e. horizontal surfaces).


The X-ray reflectometer is equipped with a Cu tube source with parallel beam optics, motorised beam defining slits, an automatic beam attenuator, a "De Wolf" beam knife and a Xe scintillator detector (capable of >106cps). Solid samples will be mounted on a motorised XYZ, Phi sample stage while, a motorised Huber stage will be employed for liquid studies.



X-ray reflectometry is used to probe the structure of surfaces, thin-films or buried interfaces as well as processes occurring at surfaces and interfaces such as adsorption, adhesion and interdiffusion. In particular, recent years have seen an explosion of interest in the biosciences as well as the emerging field of nanotechnology.


Applications cover photosensitive films, electrochemical and catalytic interfaces, surfactant layers, polymer coatings and biological membranes. The increasing importance of hybrid materials, the properties of which are determined by their interfaces and the rapid development in the field of thin film technology provides a strong demand for x-ray reflectometry.


Schematic of the X-Rat Reflectometer
Figure 1: Schematic of the X-ray Reflectometer


Instrument Specifications
X-ray source   Cu Kα sealed tube
Tube voltage     45kV
Operating current      40mA
X-ray flux below critical edge  125,000,000 counts/s
Rmin  ~10-8 
Background  ~1 count/s 
Typical angles measured (q):  0 - 5°
Minimum step size:      0.001°
Typical measurement times   < 3 hours 
Specular and off-specular measurements   



Example Data


Example data

For more information on this data, see our scientific highlight on X-ray and neutron reflectivity studies of plasma polymer coatings.


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